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Academic Buoyancy

Academic Buoyancy: Investigating Measures and Developing a Model of
Undergraduates’ Everyday Academic Resilience
Abstract

Undergraduates face numerous challenges and pressures in pursuing a degree. This study explored variables and measures which can be used to assess and predict undergraduates’ everyday academic resilience (i.e., academic buoyancy) and confirmed the nature of some key relationships between variables. This provides important insights for researchers, higher education providers and psychological practice with specific directions for policy and praxis. This study primarily aimed to test a model which maps undergraduates’ academic buoyancy. The secondary objective was to assess the reliability and validity of the measures Martin, Marsh and colleagues (2007, 2008) used to investigate high school students’ academic buoyancy. Undergraduates (n = 236) aged 18 to 55 were recruited via snowball sampling to complete an online questionnaire comprising a battery of measures assessing psychosocial and educational variables. Acceptable (> .70) to excellent (> .90) internal consistency values were found for each measure investigated, while four of the six measures used by Martin, Marsh and colleagues demonstrated strong to very strong convergent validity with other psychometrically validated measures of the same construct. Support for the theoretical model was found using structural equation modelling, highlighting specific variables (parental attachment, self-efficacy, anxiety, control and engagement) which could constitute the basis for effective intervention. Suggestions for psychological and educational policy and praxis are offered for universities and individual students. Directions for future research could include stratified-random sampling, multiple sources of data and a longitudinal design to qualify results and increase generalisability. Research aimed at developing and testing effective applications of these findings is recommended.