Building Grit

Can an intervention promote students’ sustained interest and effort in academic tasks?

Grit has emerged as a predictor of student academic success. In this study, Eskreis-Winkler and Duckworth will address how to build grit. The team will develop an intervention involving students mentoring younger peers on grit to assess whether it increases grit in the mentors. This extends the team’s prior work with school-based grit interventions. The team will now investigate how long the effects of the intervention last and how to increase persistence, not only for low achievers (as was found with their prior work) but also high achievers. The project will investigate whether the intervention particularly benefits Black and Hispanic students, who may struggle with society’s negative racially-based stereotypes about their ability to do well in school. An online intervention will be administered to 1400 middle school, high school, and college students across ten states. A series of pre-and post-intervention focus groups, and/or interviews, and tests will be conducted to assess self-perceptions and behavioral grit.