What Challenges Are Boys Facing, and What Opportunities Exist To Address Those Challenges? Fact Sheet: Education*. Conclusion

08/15/2008

Statistics reveal that boys face many academic challenges, including learning disabilities, underachievement, and dropping out of school.

Given the life-altering consequences of low academic achievement and school dropout on youth, researchers have sought to gather information that can help boys succeed in school.

One thing they have learned is that boys who feel they are emotionally supported by teachers and other staff have a stronger connection to school and may be less likely to drop out.(34) Moreover, young people, and especially boys, are more likely to be successful in school and less likely to drop out when their parents are involved in their lives and have high expectations for and positive relationships with them.(35) Even if they don’t live together, a good father-son relationship — characterized by frequent contact and open communication — can lead to a boy doing better in school.(36)

Research into what works to build boys’ strengths and reduce the challenges they face is still growing. Although the results are promising, efforts continue to pinpoint what strengths make some boys more likely to succeed and what risks, or challenges, increase the likelihood that they will struggle.

Boys like Joe face some tough challenges to successfully completing their education. But with strong support from teachers and parents, and with goals for the future, many of those hurdles can be overcome.

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