Academic achievement is thought to be influenced by family socioeconomic status (SES), but the relationship is also affected by government interventions. A meta-analysis recently published in Educational Psychology Review examined the relationship between family SES and academic achievement in China and whether year, grade level, type of SES measures, and subjects of academic achievement moderate that relationship.
The analysis was based on data drawn from 215,649 students in 62 studies (78 independent samples). Studies included in the search process were those conducted from January 1979 to May 2017 written in English or Chinese. To be included in the analysis, studies needed to be focused on the relation between SES and academic achievement, contain sufficient statistical detail, and be carried out on students from kindergarten to senior high school in China. The meta-analysis excluded any duplicated data and studies containing obvious errors or insufficient information. The key findings were:
- SES is moderately correlated with academic achievement in China (E.S. = +0.24).
- Over the years, the relation between SES and academic achievement in China has been decreasing gradually.
- The relation between SES and academic achievement is stronger regarding language achievement than science/math achievement.
- Grade level andtype of SES measure did not have significant impacts on the relation between SES and academic achievement.
The authors suggested several ways by which educational policies could address educational inequality based on the result. For example, they indicated that more public learning resources and opportunities for languages could be provided as the relationship between SES and language achievement is stronger.
Source (Open Access): Liu, J., Peng, P., & Luo, L. (2020). The relation between family socioeconomic status and academic achievement in China: a meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 32(1), 49-76.