Female students ‘with resilience’ perform better than men

Tough-minded women are likely to do better in their university studies than men with similar characteristics of “resilience”, a study says.

March 8, 2014

Academics at Leeds Metropolitan University tested around 1,500 students at the start of their first year to see if levels of psychological resilience – deemed “the capacity of individuals to adapt to new challenges” – affected academic performance.

Those who were judged as “resilient” were more likely to do well in their first year studies, but the trend was much more pronounced for female students than for male ones.

Resilient women are twice as likely to average a first or a 2:1 in their first year at university than resilient men, the study says.

In some cases, men with higher resilience scores did worse than those less able to cope with stress – a phenomenon not seen in women.

John Allan, senior lecturer in physical education and sports pedagogy, who conducted the research with Jim McKenna, professor of physical activity and health, said the research demonstrated the “unpredictability of adaptive capacity”.

“Although at the end of the inductees’ first academic year the outcomes suggested similar academic performance by gender, higher resilience was progressively and incrementally associated with higher grade profiles for females,” added Professor McKenna.

The study may suggest the general nature of higher education is better suited to women, particularly those with a tough mindset, the researchers said.

It also recommended extra counseling is provided for male students because psychologically resilient men are not fulfilling their academic potential, perhaps through a “purposeful and functional choice”, it adds.

This course of action has already been adopted at Leeds Met as a result of the research, the study adds.

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

PhD Position in Archaeology and Cultural History

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Energy and Process Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Energy and Process Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

PhD position in Industrial Energy Efficiency

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Postdoc in Traffic Engineering

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes