Building Resilience: Exploring the Positive Impact of Social-Connectedness in Low-Income University Students

In a groundbreaking study, researchers delved into the intricate dynamics of resilience among low-income university students. With a focus on self-compassion, social-connectedness, and optimism, the study aimed to unravel the protective factors that contribute to the psychological resilience of individuals facing economic challenges.

Understanding the Context:

The study involved 495 university students, all hailing from families with incomes below twice the minimum wage, whose parents had a maximum education level of high school, and who grew up in households with at least four family members. The data collection process employed established scales such as the Ego Resilience Scale, Self-compassion Scale, Social Connectedness Scale, and Life Orientation Test.

Analyzing the Results:

Utilizing the Lisrel 8.8 program and structural equation modeling, the study discovered intriguing relationships. Self-compassion and social-connectedness emerged as direct predictors of optimism, while optimism directly influenced psychological resilience. Additionally, self-compassion and social-connectedness exhibited indirect effects on psychological resilience, operating through optimism.

The Impact of Low-Income on Development:

Low-income environments pose multiple risk factors for children’s development. Research suggests that exposure to multiple risk factors has more detrimental effects on wellbeing compared to exposure to a single risk factor. However, not all individuals from low-income backgrounds follow the same developmental patterns. Some develop a vulnerable personality, while others cultivate a matured personality and successful lifestyle. The key differentiator lies in psychological resilience, the ability to adapt and overcome the negative effects of low-income environments.

Protective Factors: Personal, Social, and Family Features:

To nurture resilience, protective factors fall into three categories: positive personal features, positive social features, and positive family features. This study focused on personal protective factors, emphasizing self-compassion, social-connectedness, and optimism.

The Role of Self-Compassion:

Self-compassion emerged as a vital personal feature, enabling individuals to exhibit self-helping behaviors when faced with negative experiences. Those with self-compassion tend to learn from their experiences and engage in functional behaviors rather than self-blame.

The Significance of Social-Connectedness:

Social-connectedness, defined as a sense of belonging and connection to society, proved crucial in fostering a feeling of safety and security. Individuals with social-connectedness believe they can receive support when needed through their social relations.

Optimism as a Catalyst:

Optimism, characterized by positive expectations towards life, played a central role in the study. Optimistic individuals demonstrated a more resilient mindset, showcasing lower levels of negative feelings and higher levels of adaptive behavior when overcoming challenges.

Implications for Low-Income University Students:

The study’s findings indicated that self-compassion and social-connectedness positively predicted optimism, suggesting that these individuals could overcome negative feelings by cultivating an optimistic viewpoint. Moreover, optimism positively predicted psychological resilience, implying that an optimistic outlook can act as a protective factor for individuals from low-income families.


Research illuminates the intricate dynamics at play among self-compassion, social-connectedness, optimism, and psychological resilience within the context of low-income university students. Recognizing and leveraging these protective elements holds significant potential for educators, policymakers, and support systems to actively participate in fostering the growth of resilient individuals who can effectively navigate challenges and shape positive trajectories for their lives.

In a contemporary landscape where authentic and meaningful connections are often elusive, the role of platforms such as Everconnected becomes paramount. By providing a dedicated space, Everconnected plays a crucial role in facilitating meaningful connections among students, fostering resilience, and contributing to their overall personal and academic growth. The platform serves as a valuable resource in an environment where building authenctic connections is challenging, offering students a supportive space to cultivate resilience and fortify themselves against the adversities they may encounter.


Ergün Başak, B., & Can, G. (2018). The Relationships Between Self-Compassion, Social-Connectedness, Optimism and Psychological Resilience Among Low-Income University Students. Ilköğretim Online, 766–785.