Risk or resilience? What makes a difference?

Boon, Helen J. (2008) Risk or resilience? What makes a difference? Australian Educational Researcher, 35 (1). pp. 81-102.

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Dropping out of school has been associated with a student’s ethnicity, socioeconomic status, challenging behaviours and low academic achievement. This paper describes research conducted with 1050 students aged 12-15, in three North Queensland urban high schools to investigate issues related to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students at risk of dropping out of school before gaining adequate qualifications. A path-analytic model was developed to assess the influence of socio-demographic, structural family and behavioural factors upon low academic achievement, the strongest predictor of dropping out of school. The specific hypothesis tested was that challenging behaviour, indexed by suspensions, predicts low academic achievement or at-risk status, more strongly than SES or family structure variables. Results indicate that for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, suspensions are a stronger predictor of low achievement than socioeconomic or family factors. Moreover, a model testing low achievement as a precursor to suspensions was not supported. Suggestions for future practice and research are proposed.

Item ID: 1958
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0311-6999
Keywords: resilience, academic achievement, at risk, suspensions, socio-economic status, Indigenous students, structural equation modelling
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Reproduced with permission from Australian Association for Research in Education.

Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2008
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130309 Learning Sciences @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939901 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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