The effects of socioeconomic status on student performance

Sue Selby Carmichael, Tennessee State University


This study examined the effects of socioeconomic status on the academic performance of all fourth and sixth grade students in the White County, Tennessee School System. An equal sample population of fourth grade students (48.4%) and sixth grade students (51.6%) were analyzed as well as a relatively equal number of students classified as economically advantaged (46.7%) and economically disadvantaged (53.3%). The hypotheses were tested using an independent samples t-test, chi-square, and 2-way ANOVA. The results showed a significant difference in the achievement scores of 4th grade reading, 6th grade reading and 6th grade mathematics. The Chi-square test found a significant difference in the proficiency levels of the 6th grade reading and mathematics. An ANOVA was used to analyze the interaction of socioeconomic status and grade level. A significant main effect of socioeconomic status and a significant interaction effect of grade level and socioeconomic status were found on reading scores. The same analysis in mathematics found a significant main effect of grade level but no significant interaction between grade level and socioeconomic status. Individual ANOVA tests were conducted to identify significant differences in achievement between the eight schools and the two dependent variables, reading and mathematics. There was no significant main effect of reading between schools but there was a significant difference found in mathematics scores between the schools.

Subject Area

School administration|Elementary education|Educational sociology

Recommended Citation

Sue Selby Carmichael, "The effects of socioeconomic status on student performance" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3167772.