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Resilience - Why bother?

Wednesday, 01 December 2010


The Relationship between Resilience and University Success

Around one third of all first year University students will not continue their studies in second year. Some students find it difficult to transition from one context to another and withdraw from their studies due to an inability to cope with the challenges and adversity in their new environment. On the other hand, many students are resilient and are able to effectively overcome significant difficulties they are faced with during the transition to or through university. Few studies have investigated the role of resilience in the success of university students with no research currently focusing on second year university students. Furthermore, few studies have examined the resilience of university students in terms of individual dispositional attributes and how such attributes contribute to the retention of students. The present research examined the resilience of 253 second year university students and several dispositional attributes expected to contribute to their resilience, including self-esteem, social support, Problem-Focused Coping (PFC) and Emotion-Focused Coping (EFC). Consistent with expectations, results from this study indicated that students with higher levels of self-esteem, social support and PFC predicted higher levels of resilience. Furthermore, students with lower levels of EFC were found to report higher levels of resilience. This presentation will discuss the challenges faced by students and how they can be helped to be resilient in the face of major transition. The results will assist policy makers and program developers to understand how individuals faced with adversity can adapt and survive.

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