This study examined the relation between school poverty and educational attainment of adolescents, and tested whether personality trait agreeableness moderated this link. The sample consisted of 4236 adolescents, whose math abilities were assessed twice, at ages around 13/14 and 15/16. Agreeableness was assessed at age 13. School poverty was measured as the proportion of children eligible for free school meals in the school. The results showed a negative relation between school poverty and educational attainment, however, this negative relation was weaker for adolescents with higher levels of agreeableness. Specifically, in low poverty schools, agreeableness did not predict differences in educational attainment. The results were in line with the diathesis-stress model. This suggests that higher levels of agreeableness can contribute to resilience and better coping with contextual stressors in the school environment.
- School poverty
- Educational attainment
- Person-environment interaction