ERIC Number: EJ941491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 77
Issues in the Conceptualisation and Measurement of Socioeconomic Background: Do Different Measures Generate Different Conclusions?
Marks, Gary Neil
Social Indicators Research, v104 n2 p225-251 Nov 2011
Parental occupation and education are used extensively in the analysis of socioeconomic inequalities in education and subsequent social and economic outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to examine if different ways of measuring socioeconomic background substantially alter substantive conclusions on cross-national differences in socioeconomic inequalities in student achievement. The effects of father's occupational group are largely consistent across countries, with students from teaching backgrounds scoring very highly in many countries. Student performance by mother's educational group is quite similar across countries although the relative performance of students whose mothers completed vocational education differs between countries. Notwithstanding these differences, continuous measures of father's and mother's occupation and education, and composite measures comprising combinations of these four indicators and additional indicators produce similar, but not identical, orderings of countries in terms of socioeconomic inequalities in student performance. However common single indicator measures, mother's education and father's occupation do not show a particularly high correspondence, cross-nationally. On theoretical and empirical grounds, the preferred measure is a composite of both parents' occupation and education.
Descriptors: Mothers, Adult Education, Socioeconomic Background, Vocational Education, Fathers, Education Work Relationship, Parent Background, Educational Attainment, Academic Achievement, Cross Cultural Studies, Social Indicators, Correlation, Employment
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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