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

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Microlight pilot flies with flock of cranes

Reports of UK-based researchers already thinking of moving overseas after Brexit vote

Portrait montage of Donald Trump and Nigel Farage

From Donald Trump to Brexit, John Morgan considers the challenges of a new international political climate