Main Article Content
The purpose of the study was, 1) to identify risk and protective factors that predict academic achievement in low socioeconomic status (SES) pupils in Ireland; and 2) to establish if these predicting factors are unique and applicable only in low-SES pupils. Using two waves of the Irish nationally representative longitudinal data, a multi-informant design was applied to analyse data from over 7,000 children along with their caregivers and teachers. A series of multilevel regression analyses were performed to compare data from low-SES and high-SES pupils. After controlling for prior achievement, findings suggested that academic achievement in both low and high-SES pupils are promoted by educational aspirations, attentional skills and being in the rural area. The strength of the association between protective factors and academic achievement, however, varies between the two groups. Nonetheless, close parent-child relationship in low-SES female pupils appears to be a unique factor that promotes academic resilience that does not apply to the rest of the pupils. The study contributes credible evidence and fresh insights into protective factors that exclusively promote academic resilience in low-SES pupils. From the perspective of policy and intervention, the differentiated knowledge gained is useful to inform the provision of targeted efforts aimed at closing the gap in achievement between pupils from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
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