Battle, Juan, & Pastrana, Antonio Jr.
The Relative Importance of Race and Socioeconomic Status Among Hispanic and White Students
City University of New York
Examines the longitudinal effects of race and socioeconomic status on 12th-grade educational achievement and achievement two years after high school.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 35-49
- 12th-grade outcomes, there was no significant difference between Hispanic and White students.
- An interaction term revealed that Hispanic students do not receive the same return for increases in socioeconomic status as their White counterparts two years after high school
- For both dependent variables, students in public schools do less well than those not studying in public schools
- Family size is significant such that the bigger the family, the higher the12th-grade score.
- Cultural capital has a positive influence on outcomes in both years examined, whereas social capital’s positive effects are present only two years after high school
- Whereas socioeconomic status is statistically significant for both dependent variables, percentage free lunch is significant only two years after high school
- When examining race (beta of 0.017) and socioeconomic status (beta of 0.217) for students two years after high school, the latter is 10 times more powerful in predicting academic outcomes
- Interaction between race and socioeconomic status is not significant when predicting 12th-grade outcomes.
- Percentage of students receiving free lunch is significant and negatively associated with academic achievement for eighth graders and two years after high school; it is not a significant predictor of 12th-grade achievement
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Composition, Hispanics, Math, Race, Reading, SES, SES Composition, Social Capital
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Data employed for this study were drawn from the first, third, and fourth waves of the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS).
- NELS is a clustered, two-staged stratified national probability sample with 815 public schools and 237 private schools participating in the first stage. The second stage produced a random selection of 26,435 students among sampled schools.
- Follow-up studies took place in 1990 when the students were sophomores in high school, in 1992 when they were seniors, and in 1994, 2 years after they graduated high school.
- Sample used in this study includes 9,744 White and Hispanic students
- DV: 12th grade academic achievement (standardized composite of scores on math and reading tests administered to each student); later academic achievement (highest postsecondary level of education achieved 2 years after high school)
- IV: 8th grade test scores, race (i.e., Hispanic or White), gender, urbanicity, school type (i.e., public or private), family size, parental control (i.e., how often parents check homework completion, limit television, limit activities on school nights), cultural capital (i.e., attendance of music/art/dance classes outside school, visited museums, attended concerts), social capital (measured as frequency with which parents discussed school-related matters), family SES (measured as mother’s and father’s education, occupation, and income), school SES (measured as percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch)