The relationship between resilience, self–regulation and the academic performance of learners living in townships under adverse circumstances
In South African townships today many adolescents are faced with adverse circumstances which they have to cope with. Many risks occur when adolescents are faced with adversity. Research has shown that adversity is an increasingly common phenomenon in black families, and that many black families have proven themselves to be resilient and have maintained themselves to some extent. It is therefore understandable that the family is considered essential in raising adolescents who are socially and emotionally well–adapted. With the increasing number of risks faced by adolescents who do not have this support system the question is whether they will experience these adversities as stumbling blocks or turn them into stepping stones in their lives. The latter are those who demonstrate resilience. The purpose of this study was to provide answers, by means of a literature review and empirical research, as to the extent to which adolescents who live under adverse circumstances demonstrate resilience and self–regulation in their academic work. This study also aimed to determine whether a relationship exists between resilience, self–regulation and the academic performance of learners. This was achieved by describing and understanding (a) resilience and the ability of adolescents to navigate and negotiate for essential protective resources (i.e. personal, familial, community and cultural resources) which are supposed to be available to adolescents, and; (b) to support a better understanding of the structure of self–regulated learning and its relation to academic performance from a social–cognitive perspective which embraces human functioning as the product of a dynamic, reciprocal and triadic interaction between personal (e.g. learner's knowledge, meta–cognition, motivation and anxiety), behavioural (e.g. self–observation and self–reaction) and environmental variables (e.g. academic outcomes, modelling and feedback from educators). Three measurement instruments were administered to a group of 180 learners from a selected school. These learners all reside in a township. The measurement instruments were (a) a biographical questionnaire, (b) Self–Regulated Learning Questionnaire (SRLQ) and the (c) Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM). The statistical analyses consisted of descriptive statistics and inferential statistics. Analysis of the data showed no significant relationship between resilience and academic performance for the participants but showed a moderate relationship between academic performance and self–regulated learning, where the most important processes indicated were goal–setting, strategic planning and self–evaluation. Between self–regulated learning and resilience no relationship was found. Results furthermore show that academic performance was better for a group of participants who are high on self–regulation than for a group of participants who are low on self–regulation. It can therefore be concluded that the more self–regulated learners are, the better they perform academically.
- ETD@PUK