ERIC Number: ED269084
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Development of a Socio-Economic-Status Index Using United States Census Data.
Grosset, Jane M.; Hawk, Thomas R.
The study reported here employed a quasi-factorial ecological approach to explore the possibility of using economic and social indicators available from the 1980 census to construct a socio-economic status (SES) index. The study hypothesized that if an appropriate factor analysis model could be identified, factor score equations could be used to construct an SES index for each of the 49 zip codes in a large eastern city. In turn, students attending a public two-year college in the city could be assigned an SES measure on the basis of their residential zip code. Using census data, seven economic and social indicators (i.e., mean per-capita income, median household income, percentage of persons below the poverty level, percentage of high-school graduates and college graduates, percentage of individuals on unemployment, and percentage of individuals on work disability) were factor analyzed. Indices representing dimensions of economic deprivation and educational attainment were used to categorize zip codes as either high or low SES. Correlations of the SES indices with high-risk student behaviors, academic performance, and attrition were statistically significant in most analyses, albeit they offered only modest contributions to the explanation of overall variation. Institutional efforts to use the SES variables in counseling and recruitment have been extremely cautious, in recognition of the fact that SES data can only be used in the context of a holistic assessment. (RO)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (70th, San Francisco, CA, April 16-20, 1986).