Overcoming adversity: an investigation of the role of resilience constructs in the relationship between socio-economic and demographic factors and academic coping

by Barends, Mark Steven

Abstract (Summary)
Many historically disadvantaged South Africans are entering into universities, where they are expected to perform academically not only to secure themselves a continued place at university, but also to secure themselves a place in the competitive job-market post university. Not only have these individuals been disadvantaged by an inferior schooling system, which is the legacy of apartheid, but they also struggle against the grasp of poverty, attempting to sustain themselves financially in order to afford the necessities for their survival, while still attempting to cope academically. Resilience has been presented as a process that helps individuals deal effectively with stressful events and adverse conditions. An attempt is therefore made to investigate whether resilience plays this role in the experience of disadvantaged students at university, where academic performance and adjustment represent the expected measures of coping. The aim of the study was therefore to explore the role of resilience constructs in the relationship between socio-economic and demographic variables and academic coping. The study is based within the broad framework of Psychofortology, which is the science of psychological strengths. The resilience constructs used included fortitude (measured by the Fortitude Questionnaire), hardiness (measured by the Personal Views Survey) and sense of coherence (measured by the Sense of Coherence Scale). Demographic variables included age, sex, language, town (urban/rural), with household income as an indicator of socio-economic status. Academic coping (outcome) was measured using students&rsquo
Bibliographical Information:


School:University of the Western Cape/Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:adaptability psychology adjustment change resilience personality trait academic achievement psychological aspects


Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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