Academic buoyancy

Academic buoyancy is a research-based measure from the Tell Them From Me surveys. It is a source of evidence linked to What works best and the School Excellence Framework.

What is it?

Academic buoyancy is defined as students' ability to overcome setbacks and challenges that are typical of the ordinary course of school life. The concept of academic buoyancy focuses on a students’ responses to their everyday challenges that emphasises proactive rather than reactive approaches to academic adversity.

The Tell Them From Me surveys ask students about how well they deal with challenges that occur at school. The results are reported as students’ average score for academic buoyancy.

Why is it important?

Students with high levels of academic buoyancy are more engaged at school, have higher levels of self-efficacy and persistence, and value and enjoy school more. Academic buoyancy can also help to mediate stress and anxiety that can result from academic pursuits at school.

School improvement links

School Excellence Framework element What works best theme

Evidence base

Martin, A. J., & Marsh, H. W. (2008a). Academic buoyancy: Towards an understanding of students' everyday academic resilience. Journal of School Psychology, 46(1), 53-83.

Martin, A. J., & Marsh, H. W. (2008b). Workplace and academic buoyancy: Psychometric assessment and construct validity amongst school personnel and students. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 26(2), 168-184.

Martin, A. J., & Marsh, H. W. (2009). Academic resilience and academic buoyancy: Multidimensional and hierarchical conceptual framing of causes, correlates and cognate constructs. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 353-370.

Martin, A.J. (2013). The Personal Proficiency Network: Key self-system factors and processes to optimize academic development. In D.M. McInerney, H.W. Marsh., R.G. Craven, & F. Guay (Eds). Theory driving research: New wave perspectives on self-processes and human development. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Waxman, H. C., Huang, S. L., & Padron, Y. N. (1997). Motivation and learning environment differences between resilient and non-resilient Latino middle school students. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 19, 137−155.
Image: This explainer has been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar

Explainers of the Tell Them From Me measures have been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar. The Tell Them From Me measures are provided by, and remain the intellectual property of, The Learning Bar. The explainers can also be found online within the Tell Them From Me portal. Tell Them From Me and TTFM are trademarks of The Learning Bar.


  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • Tell Them From Me

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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