Academic buoyancy and academic outcomes: Towards a further understanding of students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), students without ADHD, and academic buoyancy itself


  • Andrew J. Martin

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia
    • Correspondence should be addressed to Andrew J. Martin, Faculty of Education and Social Work, A35 – Education Building, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia (email:

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Academic buoyancy is students' capacity to successfully overcome setback and challenge that is typical of the ordinary course of everyday academic life. It may represent an important factor on the psycho-educational landscape assisting students who experience difficulties in school and schoolwork.


This study investigated the role of academic buoyancy in the achievement and cognitive, affective and behavioural engagement of (1) students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and (2) ‘regular’ (or ‘general’) students residing in the same classrooms and schools. The study also sought to extend prior research into academic buoyancy by including previously neglected and potentially influential factors such as personality and socio-economic status.


Participants were = 87 high school students with ADHD,= 3374 non-ADHD peers, and = 87 randomly drawn non-ADHD students.


Survey-based data were analysed using multigroup (ADHD, non-ADHD, randomly weighted non-ADHD) multivariate (multiple independent/covariate and dependent variables) path analysis.


The findings revealed a significant and positive association between academic buoyancy and outcomes for students with ADHD that generalized to non-ADHD groups. On occasion where academic buoyancy effects differed between the groups, effects favoured students with ADHD. Furthermore, academic buoyancy explained significant variance in outcomes for both groups of students after covariates (age, gender, parent education, language background, socio-economic status, personality) were entered.


It is concluded that there is merit in widely promoting and fostering academic buoyancy among ADHD and non-ADHD students alike – and that academic buoyancy explains variance in outcomes beyond major intrapersonal factors such as personality, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and the like.