To put it as simply as possible, a student’s grades have little to do with their rate of completing school vs. dropping out. It depends more on anxiety levels rather than grades. A student who is a little stressed but does poorly has a higher chance of finishing school than a student who does well but is depressed, or has no anxiety at all.
They looked at statistics from 5,469 students “primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds,” and came up with these conclusions. The results they found though were the opposite of what they assumed would be the final result. They assumed that higher stress would be a linear match to dropout rate, but to their surprise, it’s more of a bell curve.
Very high anxiety about schoolwork did show that some students would drop out or not complete school, but they also found that a very low level of anxiety actually indicated a higher chance of dropping out. That was the surprise part of the study. Students with a middle-level of anxiety generally did better in school, and completed school.
The reason this is sort of important is because it shows a new way to analyze students. Rather than looking at their grades, we can instead look at their mental health. Students who do well in school but have a high level of internal anxiety are more likely to drop out than a student who’s grades are average or less, but generally “happy.”
Certainly an interesting study with surprising results. Read more about it here.