Previous investigations have studied the relationship between grit and academic performance, and it has been reported that grittier students perform better academically. The objectives of this study are to measure chiropractic students' grittiness and to explore the correlation between grit and academic performance.


We distributed the Short Grit Scale (Grit-S) questionnaire to chiropractic students in electronic form. We included questions about their previous grade point average and the number of times they had retaken examinations. We scored the overall Grit-S scale and the Consistency of Interest and Perseverance of Effort subscales. A 2-tailed t test and 1-way analysis of variance were used to determine differences between groups.


The response rate was 87% (n = 110). The mean grit score (3.44 ± 0.60) was similar to the general population and slightly lower than other healthcare professionals. The students who had a grade point average between <80% but less than 90% obtained significantly higher grit scores compared to those who had a grade point average <60% but less than 70%. Similarly, students who had no examination retakes had higher grit scores compared to those who took 4 or more exam retakes. We observed these differences in the overall and subscales scores. No other group showed any difference.


The results of this research showed that the grittier students performed better academically than the less gritty students. Grit scores can potentially be used to identify the students at risk of failing or dropping out. The role and potential application of grit in chiropractic education, student support, and admission procedures should be further evaluated.

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Author notes

Elina Pulkkinen is in private practice (Hyve Tampere, Saapastie 2, 33950 Pirkkala, Finland; elina9@gmail.com). Pablo Perez de la Ossa is the head of research at the Barcelona College of Chiropractic (Carrer dels Caponata 15, 08034 Barcelona, Spain; pablo.perez@bcc.edu.eu).

Concept development: EAP. Design: EAP. Supervision: PP. Data collection/processing: EAP. Analysis/interpretation: EAP, PP. Literature search: EAP. Writing: EAP. Critical review: PP.