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Why some children from poor families do well—an in-depth analysis of positive deviance cases in Singapore

Resource type
Authors/contributors
Title
Why some children from poor families do well—an in-depth analysis of positive deviance cases in Singapore
Abstract
Purpose: Research documents that children from low-income families face higher risks in many areas of their development including academic performance. However, some children from low-income homes excel academically despite their disadvantaged environment. Method: Using Positive Deviance methodology (PD), audio-diary and interview data were collected from ten children who scored at least 70 percentile in school examinations in spite of their financial deprivation. Results: This paper uncovers specific dimensions of agency in these children that stemmed from the relational contexts they had with their mothers. Combining the PD methodology and sensitizing lens from Social Relational Theory, this study provided evidence that PD children are connected agents within their family. It suggests that children's awareness of their family circumstances motivated them to work hard and enabled them to devise creative ways to manage their limited financial resources. Conclusions: The findings challenge dominant discourses on poor children as passive victims and suggest new ways for practitioners to examine the relationship contexts that support children's capacity as agents rather than focusing on individual traits.
Publication
International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
Volume
13
Date
2019
Citation
Cheang, C. J. Y., & Goh, E. C. L. (2019). Why some children from poor families do well—an in-depth analysis of positive deviance cases in Singapore. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 13. https://www.dropbox.com/s/t4h9ar4y0lq6zi7/Why_some_children_from_poor_families_do_well-an_in.pdf?dl=0