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: How is it that some people who have achieved the greatest fame and fortune were brought up themselves in very poor circumstances? This is a question that captures the imagination. What it is that enables some people to escape from a disadvantaged background is the essence of the study reported here. The study is not, though, about those with exceptional achievements. It is simply about those who started off disadvantaged and who are doing relatively well as adults, who seem quite unlikely to suffer the same deprivations as their parents. It looks at the lives, expectations and perceptions of a gorup of young people who, in a variety of ways, could be regarded as having had a "disadvantaged" start in life. In particular it aseses the persistence or amelioration of "disadvantage" as the children have grown up.