Faculty Publications

Title

Willing to play the game: How at-risk students persist in school

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Psychology in the Schools

Volume

43

Issue

5

First Page

599

Last Page

611

Abstract

A qualitative case study of 17 high-school students identified as at risk for dropping out, this research develops a grounded theory describing the process of students' persistence and the support they received from teachers and school administrators. Three interactive factors appear critical to persistence: (a) goal orientation - students' belief they will benefit from graduating, (b) willingness to play the game - students' willingness to follow school rules, and (c) meaningful connections - relationships with teachers who believed students could graduate and provided support and caring. All three factors were present for students who stayed through the school year whereas one or more was absent from the experiences of the students who left school before graduation. The research provides further support for the role of schools in supporting students' persistence and has implications for how schools support students who are struggling to stay in school. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original Publication Date

5-1-2006

DOI of published version

10.1002/pits.20174

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