Lessard, A., Butler-Kisber, L., Fortin, L. et Marcotte, D. (2013). Analyzing the discourse of dropouts and resilient students. Journal of Educational Research 107(2), 103-110.
The authors focused on high school students who were at risk of dropping out and examined why some of these students persevered and graduated while others ended up dropping out of school. Sixty resilient students and 80 dropouts participated in the study. Our results indicate that although learning difficulties were shared by participants, 4 types of abilities set the resilient students apart from dropouts: (a) inreach (using their own resources); (b) outreach (asking for help when needed); (c) establishing and maintaining positive relationships with teachers and friends while setting limits when necessary; and (d) planning, making choices and following through on decisions. It was also found that resilient students could count on lifelines, people they knew they could always rely on when they had difficulties.