Factors of a Low-SES Household: What Aids Academic Achievement?

By Milne, Allison; Plourde, Lee A. | Journal of Instructional Psychology, September 2006 | Go to article overview

Factors of a Low-SES Household: What Aids Academic Achievement?


Milne, Allison, Plourde, Lee A., Journal of Instructional Psychology


The home factors of low-SES primary students, having high academic achievement, were investigated. Six second-grade students were identified as living in low-SES homes and qualifying for free and reduced lunch, while also having high academic achievement. Their primary caretakers were interviewed in order to investigate the factors within their homes that aided academic achievement. The results of this qualitative study exhibited that none of these high achieving second-grade students had home factors that were typical of low-SES home environments. Information was gathered through interviews, observations, and various documents. The interviews were semi-structured and evolved throughout the study. After the audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and examined, four common themes emerged: (a) educational resources/influences, (b) the mother's education, (c) relationships, and (d) causes of child's success. The results of this study have implications for all educators.

**********

The role of the teacher has taken on many descriptors over the past 100 years. Today the job of the teacher is not simply to facilitate learning, but often includes being a nurse, social worker, parent, referee, advocate, and much, much more. This is due to many changes in society that have taken place. One of those changes has been the number of children living in poverty. The U.S. Bureau of Census reports that the poverty rates of children are currently higher than they have ever been (Bureau of Census, 2002). This in turn leads to a larger percentage of students in the classroom who come from low socioeconomic households. Why is this increase significant? There has been a tremendous amount of research done that shows that a child's socioeconomic status (SES) affects his/her overall cognitive ability and academic achievement (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002; Bracey, 1996; Ram and Hou, 2003; Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn, & Smith, 1998). According to Vail (2004), "[children] from high poverty environments enter school less ready to learn, and they lag behind their more-affluent classmates in their ability to use language to solve problems" (p.12). It has also been found that SES seems to affect the consistency of a student's attendance, as well as how many years of education he/she ultimately completes (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). Many researchers agree that there is usually a positive correlation between SES and academic achievement.

But what about those students who come from low-SES homes and are still able to succeed academically? In fact, not only are many of them succeeding, some tend to be well above the academic achievement standards for their determined grade level. "While low-SES is highly correlated with low achievement, some low-SES students are academically successful" (Caldwell & Ginther, 1996, p. 142). Research has also found discrepancies within the correlations between SES and achievement (Molfese, DiLalla, & Bunce, 1997; Caldwell & Ginther, 1996). The issues have therefore become less of looking at the correlations between SES and academic achievement, and more of looking at what factors of low-SES are contributing to academic failure, and what factors are contributing to success in school.

Statement of the Problem

Why is the child reared in a low-SES household still able to succeed in school? Molfese, Dilalla, & Bunce (1997) found that home environment measures were the single most important predictor of differences in children's intelligence at ages 3 through 8. In one study, Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn, & Smith (1998) found that "...children in families with incomes less than one-half of the poverty line were found to score between 6 and 13 points lower on the various standardized tests" (p.408). However, even as many researchers have found that low-SES is a determining factor in how a child will succeed in school, many still agree that the affects of SES on learning achievement vary from case to case. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Factors of a Low-SES Household: What Aids Academic Achievement?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.