Social Indicators Research

, Volume 145, Issue 2, pp 719–739 | Cite as

Academic Resilience Among Children from Disadvantaged Social Groups in India

  • Dhiman DasEmail author


There has been significant progress in educational attainment in India since its independence. Yet the achievements are low in comparison to countries in similar stages of development. The situation is worse among groups who have a history of exclusion. Children from these groups have lower enrollment and higher dropout rates than national averages. Yet some of them are able to overcome these limitations and show academic resilience. Using data from the Indian Human Development Survey (2005), we study the role of the different child, household, and school-level factors associated with academic resilience among these children. Further, to understand the mechanism through which group membership affects resilience we also study the indirect effect of group membership mediated through those factors. We find that the protective factors vary across the different disadvantaged groups. The main effect of group membership is through structural factors like poverty and maternal education. Yet, the child level and household level factors play an important role in most cases. Schools fail to play the expected role of being the source of resilience among those who face the strongest burden of structural factors. For some, the schools are the main site where they experience most of the adversities of group memberships. The results highlight the need for educational policy, which addresses the importance of schools as drivers and determinants of academic resilience.


Academic resilience Social exclusion Education Schools India 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asia Research InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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