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Family, Peers, Role Models and Resilience: Prominent Elements in the Success of Low-income High School Students
AuthorShaw, Deborah N.
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This study examined the experiences of high school students from low-income households and what they believe contributed to their persistence to their senior year. The intent of this research was to garner an understanding of the perspective of high school seniors who, despite socioeconomic adversity, have continued to progress in their educational pursuits. The voices of the students were explored using qualitative case study methods (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009). The theoretical framework that informed this study was social capital. Bourdieu (1983) and Coleman (1988) connected the idea of social capital to educational attainment and showed direct correlations between social capital and educational success. This research study was conducted over the course of one semester. Two participants were interviewed and asked to reflect on their experiences. Study findings suggest that relationships with family, peers, and role models/mentors contributed to students’ development of social capital, and these relationships, along with their own qualities of resilience, contributed to their ability to persevere in their educational endeavors.