“To be or not to be”: a study of the factors that affect and support the academic success of resilient at-risk high school graduates

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Quincy D. Williams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: At-risk youth, past and current are mostly characterized by typical adolescent behaviors and are frequently considered problems, community liabilities, and recipients rather than resources. Many have been mislabeled and diagnosed as future failures despite having the ability to succeed. Those who succeed are constituted as a rare breed and have some type of significant element that cultivated achievement. This qualitative study serves as a contribution to scholarship on the factors that influence and affect the academic success of resilient at-risk high school students. The research also set out to identify the major influences that enabled resilient at-risk high school graduates to succeed beyond the obstacles and barriers that existed in their lives.This research study utilized narrative inquiry approach where the participants in this research shared their life’s stories and all they attribute to how they overcame adversities to reach their goals and dreams. Connelly and Clandinin (1990) have defined narrative inquiry as a way of understanding experiences. The inquiry method employed for this study was the interview approach where open-ended questions were utilized to uncover factors positively affecting student achievement. A total eight students participated in the interview process. Data collection included recorded interviews, interviews were transcribed and common themes were determined and coded allowing for data analysis. Through this analysis five major themes were uncovered and found to be associated with the success of resilient at-risk high school graduates: including a culture of support for students (social support theorem), the belief and inspiration of students (self-efficacy), students being inspired and learning from their surroundings and environments (social learning theory), the level of belief in their abilities (self-efficacy) and a contribution of the small learning environment.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Adversity, At-risk, College, High School Dropout, Resilience, Students
High school dropouts $x Prevention
Academic achievement
Social cognitive theory
Social networks
School size
Youth with social disabilities $x Education (Secondary)

Email this document to