Exploring Resiliency Effects of Growth Mindset in Education


The presence of a growth mindset has many benefits, especially for adolescents in the education system. Students that embody a growth mindsets are able to perceive challenging experiences to be opportunities for learning and growth. When a growth mindset is not present, students can be very critical of themselves and give up on their goals. This study explored the presence of a growth mindset among high school students exposed to risk factors such as homelessness, low parental support, and an active special education status to see if a growth mindset was a form of resiliency that buffered the negative effects of these risk factors. In particular, we were interested in seeing if students with a growth mindset would attend a traditional high school or continuation high school when such risk factors are present. We found no difference in levels of growth mindset between school type nor the number of risk factors the student was exposed to. Special education status was a risk factor for a decrease in growth mindset, while homelessness was a risk factor for attending a continuation high school. However, parental support was protective for a stronger growth mindset as well as in prevention of attending a continuation high school. These findings suggest that social initiatives that could strengthen the parental relationship could be beneficial for youth through their schooling.