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Title:Family processes affect students' motivation, and science and math achievement in Cypriot high schools
Author:Koutsoulis, M. K., & C.ambell, J. R.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Structural Equation Modeling, 8(1)

pp. 108-127
Education Level:High
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This international study analyzes how home and motivational factors affect high school boysÕ and girlsÕ math and science achievement. The study was conducted in Cyprus, with students of Greek descent. Researchers found that the best predictor of achievement was previous achievement. Two other factors also had direct effects on achievementÐacademic self-concepts (positive effect), and family pressure (negative effect). Family socioeconomic status (SES) also had a direct positive effect on studentsÕ aspirations. Family SES also had an indirect influence on boysÕ and girlsÕ math and science achievement. Other indirect outcomes on achievement included family support and educational aspirations. Also, boys received more family pressure than did girls. Academic self-concept also seemed to have different impacts on boys and girlsÐboysÕ self-concepts had more impact on their aspirations, on their overall achievement, and on their math and science achievement. The findings indicated that high SES families provided their children with more psychological support and less pressure, whereas parents from low SES families used more pressure and provided less psychological support for school. A stratified random sample of students was selected to ensure representativeness. StudentsÕ overall self-confidence level and level of confidence in math and science, and attitudes toward school were measured. Six academic variables were also collected, through self-report from students, including grade point average (GPA), test scores, and previous GPA. Family structure and SES were also measured. This study had a high response rate, with 80% of parents responding to the questionnaire, and a total sample of 737 students. The authors suggest that the finding that boys receive so much more pressure than girls reflects Greek cultural traditions. This study lends evidence to the role of family in student achievement. While the overall methodology is solid, this study relies on self-report achievement data from students, rather than an analysis of actual grades or scores.

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