Center on the Developing Child

The Limits of ‘Grit’

Examining Angela Duckworth’s book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” and the resulting popular interest in grit as a key to success, this piece calls out the significant limitations of this focus: that grit may be out of reach for some kids who have grown up in poverty or other stressful conditions without the support of responsive relationships with adults. Center Director Jack Shonkoff’s words from Paul Tough’s new book, “Helping Children Succeed,” are featured.

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