Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Influences of Level of Parental Education, Performance-Avoidance Goals, and Knowledge About Learning on Hispanics’ SAT Scores


This study uncovers which learning (epistemic belief of learning), socioeconomic background (level of parental education, family income) or social-personality factors (performance-avoidance goals, test anxiety) mitigate the ethnic gap in SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) scores. Measures assessing achievement motivation, test anxiety, socioeconomic family background, and epistemic belief of learning were administered to 143 European American and 62 Hispanic students. 

The study concluded that the measures of epistemic belief of learning, performance-avoidance goals, and level of parental education each had a unique influence on combined SAT (SAT-V + SAT-M), SAT-V (verbal SAT), and SAT-M (math SAT) scores. Indeed, the statistical removal of these influences resulted in the elimination of 55% to 75% of the effect attributed to ethnic differences in SAT performance.  Taken as a whole, these results suggest that multiple factors influence ethnic differences in SAT performance.

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