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The Experience of Low-SES Students in Higher Education: Psychological Barriers to Success and Interventions to Reduce Social-Class Inequality

Abstract : The economic decline of the Great Recession has increased the need for a univer- sity degree, which can enhance individuals’ prospects of obtaining employment in a competitive, globalized market. Research in the social sciences has consistently demonstrated that students with low socioeconomic status (SES) have fewer op- portunities to succeed in university contexts compared to students with high SES. The present article reviews the psychological barriers faced by low-SES students in higher education compared to high-SES students. Accordingly, we first review the psychological barriers faced by low-SES students in university contexts (in terms of emotional experiences, identity management, self-perception, and moti- vation). Second, we highlight the role that university contexts play in producing and reproducing these psychological barriers, as well as the performance gap observed between low- and high-SES students. Finally, we present three examples of psychological interventions that can potentially increase both the academic achievement and the quality of low-SES students’ experience and thus may be considered as methods for change.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01644824
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 11:40:25 AM
Last modification on : Friday, November 12, 2021 - 8:34:09 PM

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Mickaël Jury, Annique Smeding, Nicole M. Stephens, Jessica E. Nelson, Cristina Aelenei, et al.. The Experience of Low-SES Students in Higher Education: Psychological Barriers to Success and Interventions to Reduce Social-Class Inequality. Journal of Social Issues, Wiley, 2017, 73 (1), pp.23 - 41. ⟨10.1111/josi.12202⟩. ⟨hal-01644824⟩

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