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Factors of a low-SES household: what aids academic achievement?

The home factors of low-SES primary students, having high academic achievement, were investigated. Six second-grade students were identified as living in low-SES homes and qualifying for free and reduced lunch, while also having high academic achievement. Their primary caretakers were interviewed in order to investigate the factors within their homes that aided academic achievement. The results of this qualitative study exhibited that none of these high achieving second-grade students had home factors that were typical of low-SES home environments. Information was gathered through interviews, observations, and various documents. The interviews were semi-structured and evolved throughout the study. After the audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and examined, four common themes emerged: (a) educational resources/influences, (b) the mother's education, (c) relationships, and (d) causes of child's success. The results of this study have implications for all educators.

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The role of the teacher has taken on many descriptors over the past 100 years. Today the job of the teacher is not simply to facilitate learning, but often includes being a nurse, social worker, parent, referee, advocate, and much, much more. This is due to many changes in society that have taken place. One of those changes has been the number of children living in poverty. The U.S. Bureau of Census reports that the poverty rates of children are currently higher than they have ever been (Bureau of Census, 2002). This in turn leads to a larger percentage of students in the classroom who come from low socioeconomic households. Why is this increase significant? There has been a tremendous amount of research done that shows that a child's socioeconomic status (SES) affects his/her overall cognitive ability and academic achievement (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002; Bracey, 1996; Ram and Hou, 2003; Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn, & Smith, 1998). According to Vail (2004), "[children] from high poverty environments enter school less ready to learn, and they lag behind their more-affluent classmates in their ability to use language to solve problems" (p.12). It has also been found that SES seems to affect the consistency of a student's attendance, as well as how many years of education he/she ultimately completes (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002). Many researchers agree that there is usually a positive correlation between SES and academic achievement.

But what about those students who come from low-SES homes and are still able to succeed academically? In fact, not only are many of them succeeding, some tend to be well above the academic achievement standards for their determined grade level. "While low-SES is highly correlated with low achievement, some low-SES students are academically successful" (Caldwell & Ginther, 1996, p. 142). Research has also found discrepancies within the correlations between SES and achievement (Molfese, DiLalla, & Bunce, 1997; Caldwell & Ginther, 1996). The issues have therefore become less of looking at the correlations between SES and academic achievement, and more of looking at what factors of low-SES are contributing to academic failure, and what factors are contributing to success in school.

Statement of the Problem

Why is the child reared in a low-SES household still able to succeed in school? Molfese, Dilalla, & Bunce (1997) found that home environment measures were the single most important predictor of differences in children's intelligence at ages 3 through 8. In one study, Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn, & Smith (1998) found that "...children in families with incomes less than one-half of the poverty line were found to score between 6 and 13 points lower on the various standardized tests" (p.408). However, even as many researchers have found that low-SES is a determining factor in how a child will succeed in school, many still agree that the affects of SES on learning achievement vary from case to case. In a study which investigated the role of environment in the development of reading skills, Molfese, Molfese, & Modglin (2003) were able to conclude that while SES scores of children between the ages of 3 and 10 were consistently correlated with reading achievement, the correlations were not high. In fact, some of their results indicated that SES scores were weak or insignificant correlates of reading scores. Where is the discrepancy coming from? Why are some students so clearly affected by their home situation, while others are seemingly unaffected?

Significance of the Study

Just knowing that students come from low-SES homes is not enough. There is first a need to know and understand what constitutes a low-SES household. Once this is established, researchers have found that while some students come from low-SES backgrounds, that doesn't necessarily predict that they will not succeed in school (Molfese, Molfese, & Modglin, 2003; Caldwell & Ginther, 1996). By understanding what type of home environment students of low-SES are coming from, teachers can better predict and understand student achievement in class.

Purpose of the Study

There is much research that exists to support the theory that SES affects students learning achievement (Caldwell & Ginther, 1996; Battle, 2002; Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn & Smith, 1998). What remains unclear is what factors of SES determine if students will succeed or not. The purpose of this study was to examine, in second-grade students who come from low-SES homes, the factors of low-SES that affect students' overall academic achievement. The research was guided by two main questions: (1) what are the common factors of low-SES homes from which children are able to achieve academic success, and (2) do some low-SES children succeed simply because they are resilient and would succeed no matter what type of home they were in?

Research Question

Some students, coming from low-SES homes, are able to maintain high levels of success in school, while others cannot. Therefore, the main question to be researched was; What are the home factors of low-SES second-grade students in a Central Washington school that contribute to their achieving academic success?

Review of Related Literature

History of Socioeconomic Status

Poverty rates of children in the United States are the highest they have ever been. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, some 28.7 million children are living in poverty across the United States (U.S. Bureau of Census, 2003). This is significantly more than in 1995 when about 15.3 million children lived with families that were stricken with poverty (U.S. Bureau of Census, 1995). As the rising of poverty rates has continued in the United States, so has the debate on the affects of socioeconomic status (SES) on children. It is clear that children coming from low- SES households endure trials and unpleasant circumstances that are much more severe than those of middle or high-SES households. However, to what extent does their socioeconomic status play a role in their cognitive abilities and academic achievement?

In order to come to any conclusions, it is important to clarify how SES is measured. There has historically been considerable debate on what factors determine SES. "The most common debate of the proponents of SES has been between economic position and economic social status" (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002, p. 371). In considering these proponents, however, psychologists have agreed that looking at the idea of capital may be a better way of measuring SES. "Capital (resources, assets) has become a favored way of thinking about SES because access to financial capital (material resources), human capital (nonmaterial resources such as education), and social capital (resources achieved through social connections) are readily connectable to processes that directly affect well-being" (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002, p. 371). Therefore, capital is summed up as being determined by household income, occupation and parent education.

Changes in family structure should also be considered in measuring SES. Ram & Hou (2003) found in a recent study that "[compared] with children in families with two original parents, those in lone-parent and stepparent families are at a disadvantage on every measure of child outcome, even when their initial disadvantages and socioeconomic background are taken into account" (p. 309). Studies show that divorce or separation will inevitably lead to a severe drop in family income and standard of living, and this often will lead to families being forced to move into poor neighborhoods (Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan, 1999). When a marriage ends, more likely than not the result will be that the lone parent must work extended hours outside of the home to make up for severe financial drops, therefore spending less time with the children (Ram & Hou, 2003).

In sum, the majority of researchers agree that income, education and occupation together best represent SES, while some others feel that changes in family structure should also be considered. Bradley (1994) concludes that "the choice of how to measure SES remains open. Part will be determined by the question being examined, part by the practical considerations concerning the acquisition of data, and part by the population from whom the data are collected" (p. 242).

Affects of SES on Students' Abilities

With the definition of SES more clearly defined, it is now important to discuss the affects of SES on students' cognitive abilities and academic success. Several researchers have found that SES affects students' abilities. In a recent study that looked at the affects of childhood poverty on the life chances of children, results revealed that correlations were the highest between family income and children's ability and achievement. "Children in families with incomes less than one-half of the poverty line were found to score between 6 and 13 points lower on the various standardized tests" (Duncan, Yeung, Brooks-Gunn, & Smith, 1998, p. 408). The researchers in this article also cite the comprehensive study by Haveman & Wolfe (1995), in which they found that family income is positively associated with educational attainment.

In another study, Caldwell & Ginther (1996) found that students from a low socioeconomic background constitute the largest population of individuals considered to be at-risk of not graduating from high school. They cite that the lack of academic achievement is the best predictor of dropping out of school. Therefore, they reason that if dropout rates are going to be lowered, strategies to improve academic achievement of at-risk students must be formulated.

While there is some research that disputes, or at the very least finds inconsistencies within the fact that SES affects students' academic achievement, most researchers agree that children are affected by SES. Perhaps most alarming are the findings that while SES seems to affect all children in their academic achievement and cognitive abilities, it tends to be most detrimental in the earliest years of development. Study after study reveals that children are hardest hit by family economic conditions during their early years (Ram & Hou, 2003; Bradley & Corwyn, 2002; Lindjord, 2002).

Low-SES Factors

As the research has been conducted, there has been a considerable amount of time spent on trying to find out why SES affects students' achievement. Bradley & Corwyn (2002) found that the children from poor families have less access to educational resources available to children coming from higher SES families. They have less chances of visiting local libraries or museums, less chances of visiting any educational centers in their communities or theatrical events. Constantino (2005) also found that children from high-SES homes have more books in their homes than those of low-SES environments. Children from low-SES homes also tend to live in environments that are overcrowded, with many siblings and many overall needs that must be met by their parents. This leads to less time for their parents, usually their mothers, to spend quality time working with them to teach them the basics needed for attending schools.

Bradley & Corwyn (2002) also found that high-SES parents talk with their children more, engage them in more meaningful and deeper conversations, read to them more, and provide many more teaching experiences. These parents generally try to get their children to talk more, they encourage them to be engaged in conversations with adults, and they tend to use richer vocabulary with their children. Low-SES parents are less likely to purchase educational materials such as reading books or workbooks for their children. They also fail to regulate the amount and quality of television their children watch. Children from these homes are typically expected to sit for longer periods of time quietly, and are encouraged to not interrupt adults who are conversing (Bradley & Corwyn, 2002).

Adding to the issues of low-SES is the problem of changes in family structure and its affect on the home environment of children. Ram & Hou (2003) have found that parents' marital conflict will often lead to less involvement in their children's school activities and inconsistencies in their style of supervision. Parents who are going through a separation or divorce tend to inconsistently supervise, control, and discipline their children. They also found that the situations will most likely not be better off once the lone parent is in charge of the family. "There is evidence to suggest that lone parents make fewer demands on children, do not adequately monitor their behavior, and utilize less effective disciplinary strategies" (Ram & Hou, 2003, p. 311). These parenting behaviors tend to be caused by longer work hours to make up for large financial drops. All of these behaviors tend to have a negative affect on the academic achievement of children. There has been some research, however, that disputes the affects of divorce on academic achievement (Battle, 1997). In his research Battle (1997) suggests that once the marriage dissolves and the conflict is no longer inside the home, the stress of the household goes down. With less conflict at home, students are able to achieve more at school.

In sum, nearly all of the researchers agree that SES does affect students' overall cognitive development and academic achievement. Where the literature is lacking however, is in the discussion of students who come from low-SES homes that tend to have high academic achievement. Research is needed in understanding why these students succeed in school, when so many of their peers are unable to. Specifically, research is needed in identifying any common factors within the homes of the academically successful students.

Methodology

Introduction

The method of research in this study was qualitative. The study was designed to investigate the different factors of low-SES homes contributing to academic success in second-grade students of a Central Washington elementary school. In order to discover these factors, the researcher needed to first identify the students who were living in low-SES homes. The researcher then needed to use interviews of the primary caretaker/s of these children, as a means of ascertaining the factors of each home that may or may not be contributing to the academic success of the participants. By recognizing the factors that aid high academic achievement in the homes of students, educators will have a better understanding of what children from low-SES situations are truly lacking in their homes that are affecting their academic achievement.

Participants

The participants of this study were a purposive sample of six second-grade students who were all between the ages of seven and eight, and their parents. All of the students were in the same second-grade classroom. The school in which they attended was located in Central Washington. At the time of the study, the school served approximately 450 students, in which 52% came from low-SES homes. The participants were initially selected because the school had identified them as being qualified for the free and reduced lunch program. All six of these participants were selected for this study due to their high academic success, as they were all at least one trimester above the second-grade standard. Three of the participants were females. Five of the six participants came from homes in which English was the primary language spoken. One of the participants came from a home in which Spanish was the primary language spoken. The researcher felt that this would have little bearing on the study for two reasons. The first reason was that the participant had received his education in English starting in Kindergarten and had high academic achievement in English in all academic areas. The other reason was that the researcher was bilingual/biliterate in Spanish and would not have any difficulties communicating with the participant's primary caretaker.

The persons interviewed for this study were the primary caretakers of the participants. For the purpose of this study however, due to previous findings in research, the researcher was particularly interested in interviewing the mothers of the participants. Once the participants were selected, the researcher found that all of the participants' primary caretakers were their mothers, with the only exception being that two of the participants had both parents who carried the load of caring for the children. Therefore, when interviews took place, four of the interviews were conducted with just the mother as the primary caretaker. The other two interviews were with both the parents present and partaking in the interview process.

Procedures

In order to select the participants for this study, the researcher obtained the free and reduced lunch status of the entire second-grade class. From this list, the researcher then identified six students who could possibly participate in this study based on their academic achievement in the second-grade. Once the students were identified according to their free and reduced lunch status and their academic achievement, the researcher then contacted the primary caretakers of the students to ask them if they would be willing to participate in this study by being interviewed. The researcher did not reveal to the caretakers that their children were selected for this study due to both their SES level and high academic achievement. The researcher simply told them the purpose of the study was to see what they were doing at home that was aiding their child in having such high academic success.

Once the caretakers agreed to participate in the interviews, a time and place were scheduled to have the interview. The researcher interviewed the caretakers within two weeks of them being asked to participate. The caretakers were given a choice on where the interview would take place, based on where they were most comfortable. Four of the six interviews took place in their child's second-grade classroom. The other two took place in the participants' homes. Each interview contained several questions that led the caretakers to openly discuss different factors that may or may not be contributing to their child's academic success. Each interview lasted a minimum of 45 minutes, with most of them going beyond an hour.

Research Design

This was an ethnographic study, in which the researcher was able to gain perspective on the participants by interviewing their primary caretaker/s. Once the setting was established, each of the caretakers was interviewed one-on-one. The caretakers were asked about twenty semi-structured questions designed to get them talking about their lives at home. Some of the questions were asked to get the caretakers talking about their relationships with their child, while others asked them to describe typical routines at their homes. Even though the list of questions was the same for each interview, some of the interviews included extra questions or questions asked in different ways. Because the questions were semi-structured, sometimes the answers given would lead the researcher and caretaker through territory that needed to be discussed at length, causing the researcher to ask more clarifying questions. Also, when a question was asked to the caretakers but they did not understand the language used, the researcher changed the wording to make it more understandable. In order to protect the privacy of each of the participants, the researcher used pseudonyms in any written documents.

Measurement Tools

The researcher used the records kept by the school in which the participants attended, in order to obtain their free and reduced lunch information. In order to qualify for free and reduced lunch in this school district, the caretakers of the students attending the school, seeking to qualify for free and reduced lunch, filled out a form that was then reviewed for acceptance or declination of free and reduced lunch. The researcher also used her own records of her second-grade class, to see which students were at least one trimester above the second-grade standard. The researcher primarily looked at the students' academic achievement in reading, based on their District Reading Assessment (DRA) scores. In order to be at least one trimester above grade level in reading, according to the DRA, the students needed to be at a level 24, at the time of the interview. Therefore, at the time of participant selection, during the first trimester, if the students were at a level 24, they were considered to be at least one trimester above grade level.

Interview Protocol

As participants were interviewed, they were asked about twenty semi-structured questions that were designed to get them talking about what their lives at home looked like and why their lives were the way they were. Because I was constantly monitoring the participants as they were being interviewed, some of the questions were asked in a different way in order to get the participants talking more. Throughout the interviews, it became clear that there were some questions that were being answered in similar ways by every participant.

Data Analysis

After the interviews were transcribed, the data were coded. Coding categories emerged after transcribing the information and carefully looking for commonalities in wording and phrasing. Bogden and Biklen's "Cut Up and Put Into Folders Approach" (Bogden & Biklen, 1992) was utilized. Major headings emerged during this process as well as smaller sub-codes. Common themes and attributes surfaced that led to further research and analysis.

Results

Throughout my entire research process I focused on answering two main guiding questions: (1) what are the common factors of low-SES homes from which children are able to achieve academic success, and (2) do some low-SES children succeed simply because they are resilient and would succeed no matter what type of home they were in? In order to find some answers to these questions, I felt that the best place to look was with the parents of these successful children. What could they tell me that would reveal the common factors of a low-SES home, whose kids are successful in school? I purposefully selected interview questions that, as I spoke with these children's parents, would give me insight into their home environments. If they were living in a typical low-SES home, their answers would reveal it.

On the onset of each interview, I was greeted with the caretakers expressing an uncertainty of why they may have been chosen to partake in the interview. While all the caretakers wanted to express their gratitude for being recognized for their child's academic achievement, this expression was consistently laced with an overwhelming sense of self-doubt, especially from those caretakers who were single mothers. Despite the presence of this clear self-doubt however, I was continually amazed, and occasionally caught off guard, by the caretakers' willingness to openly share details of their home situation throughout the interview. Once I had completed all six interviews, and the data were compiled, I was able to identify four common themes within the homes and attitudes of the participants' caretakers.

Conclusions

These themes were categorized accordingly: (a) educational resources/influences; (b) the mother's education; (c) relationships; and (d) causes of child's success. Under each of these major categories several subcategories were included.

Educational Resources/Influences

As I spoke with each participant, I was truly amazed by what I heard them say about the educational resources and influences that had been made available to their children.

In each home the participants had made sure that they had educational materials available to their children. In some homes, the materials were less than others, but they all discussed having books and writing materials available at the very least. A few of these families even had support systems who had supplied them with these materials as well, making sure that having no money could not be an option for not having educational materials around and available to their children.

The participants also all spoke of having time allotted each day for the children to do homework and other academic activities. Their homes all had a structured after school schedule in which homework and reading could take place. The participants each discussed that they made themselves available as well, to participate in the activities that their children were doing. For some this meant supporting and guiding their child when it was needed, for others, this meant actually doing the projects with their child. However each family's system was set up, what was clear was that the parents were making sure that each day their children were spending time doing educational activities outside of school.

The amount of television watched was another area in which all of the participants had similar answers. In every household, the parents of these children had a small time set aside for their children to watch television. This time was anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour per day. The participants each talked about there not being enough time for their children to watch any more than that. Several of the participants also discussed the importance of television being monitored in order that appropriate shows were being watched.

All of the participant's children had attended preschool before entering Kindergarten. One child attended for only one year, while the rest attended preschool for two years. The participants all felt that it was important that their children were prepared before they entered school. A few of the participants had taken advantage of a preschool like Head Start, in which they did not have to pay for their children to attend, while others paid for preschool. What was most important, however, was that they took advantage of the resources made available to their children, in order that they would be ready to start school.

Relationships

While the situations of each family interviewed clearly varied from case to case in many ways, there were also similarities that could not be denied. The family structure varied for all of the participants. Of those caretakers interviewed, one was a single mother who had never been married with only one child, two were single and divorced with three children, one of the caretakers was married, but with a blended family of three children, and two of the caretakers were married, one having two children and one having three. While structurally these families differed immensely, there were very clear patterns in how they related to each other, the extent of the involvement of the caretakers in their children's lives, and the support that the caretakers felt from certain individuals around them.

As I spoke with each participant about their relationship with their child, I was encouraged as they spoke about the amount of time spent together. Over and over again I heard the words, "we do everything" together. Even though these participants each struggled with the amount of time they were away from their children due to their work schedule, they all seemed to work extremely hard at spending as much of their time outside of work with their children. They spoke about the need for quality one on one time, as well as wanting to do things together. Several participants described their relationship with their child as one being more like a team. Many times this was due to the need for both child and parent to pitch in and help if they were going to make it through each day. They also discussed the importance of there being a clear definition to who was the parent and who was the child. These parents all wanted to be respected, but they also wanted to have open relationships with their children, and they wanted to be able to have fun together.

At some point during our conversations, each participant discussed with me that they spent time talking with their child. They liked having the kind of relationship in which they would seem approachable by their children, that their children would be able to talk with them about anything if they wanted to. Many times I got the feeling that these were much more like adult to adult conversations, in which the children were exposed to good language in the natural setting of it being their parent who was doing the talking.

All of the participants also expressed the need of having a support system. Each participant had a clearly defined support system in which they could relate. In fact, two of the participants even spoke of having mentors who they could seek advice about their parenting. The participants who were single parents all spoke of having friends who were in the same situation, who they could talk to about the challenges that they faced. Four of the six participants did not have any family nearby who could help them out, and they therefore strongly relied on their social circles to bring them that support. Whatever their specific situation, all of the participants knew that they could not make it on their own and were thankful that they had people around them whom they could lean on for support.

Mother's Education

While each of the participants differed in the area of their own education, they did have some similarities. Every participant had at least completed the tenth grade in school. Two of the participants had dropped out after tenth grade with one going back later to get her GED, another participant was currently in college to get her A.A., two of the participants earned a two-year degree in college, and one of them earned a bachelor's degree. While the amount of education each of the participants had differed, none of them seemed overly confident in their own accomplishments. Several of them talked about school coming easy to them but that a lack of motivation had kept them from truly succeeding. They all expressed, however, that they felt having an education was very important and they wanted their children to understand this point.

Causes of Success

When asked to discuss what they felt had been their role in helping their child to succeed in school, each answer was eerily similar. They spoke of the need for much support and guidance at home. They all seemed to speak with their children about the importance of getting an education and how it would help them in the future. They also spoke about having clear boundaries so that their children would know that doing schoolwork and other educational activities was not optional. Through their actions of always trying to keep their kids on track, they set the example to their children of how very important doing well in school was.

Implications

There are several implications of this study. The first being that if enough support is given to low-SES parents, in order that they may have the resources (time, educational materials, and knowledge) that other higher SES home have, their financial situation will not impact their child's academic achievement. The participants of this study all had enough support around them to be able to give their children exactly what they needed academically. They had the education to know that their children would do better in school if they were prepared in preschool first. They spent time with their children and helped them in their learning. They had people around them who could help them get the educational materials they needed for their children to have success. They had support that could pick up where they left off when they had to work longer hours or simply couldn't do anymore. Support was crucial for these low-SES parents. They were already doing so much and doing it the best that they could. However, they needed people around them who could help carry some of the load.

There is a huge need to educate parents who are in low-SES households. All of the parents who participated in this study had many struggles to deal with due to their situation, but they also knew what to do to help their children have high academic achievement. This really sets them apart from other low-SES home environments. It shows that if these homes can have the right factors in place, their children will be able to succeed in school. Therefore, we need to be educating those parents who are in low-SES situations, and showing them the things that they can do to set their children apart from the rest.

It is also obvious that all children truly can succeed in school despite the amount of capital that their family might have. It has been presented many, many times that if a child is failing in school the likelihood of finding their name on the free/reduced lunch list is extremely high. All of the children from this study were selected because they were on that list, but they were also selected because they were so successful in school. Their families may not have many material items, but they provide their children with all of the things they need to be successful in school.

Summary

If a child comes from a low-SES home, should we just assume that they are going to struggle and even fail in school? The answer is no, and this study has proven that answer to be true. There has been so much research in the past that has led us to believe that the answer to that question is always yes. And then, each year as we have children from these homes being highly successful in school, we ask ourselves how that can be possible. Why are they doing so well? Are they just special somehow? It is my conclusion that most likely, they come from a low-SES home that was described throughout this study, rather than from one of those described in previous research. It is beneficial for us to know what type of home environment children do come from, so that we, as educators, will know how to best support them in school. It is true that all children can have success in school, but it is also true that that success may only come once enough support has been given to their families.

Limitations

This study only looked at the home environments of six children from a second-grade classroom. The students all came from low socioeconomic environments in a Central Washington school district. Therefore, this study cannot be generalized.

As the researcher was the sole interviewer and instrument of this study, researcher bias was possible in any of the interpretations. Though the researcher worked hard to keep out any personal opinions, the possibility of subjectivity was still present.

Also, it was possible that in interviewing parents of the students that they would not be willing to give accurate information about their home environment in order to maintain a certain level of social dignity. These parents also had to answer interview questions from the researcher, who was also the teacher of their children. This provided a certain level of uncomfortableness and uncertainty as they worried about how they would be judged by their child's teacher.

References

Battle, J. (2002). Longitudinal analysis of academic achievement among a nationwide sample of Hispanic students in one-versus dual-parent households [Electronic version]. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 24, 430-447.

Bradley, R. H. (1994). The HOME inventory: Review and reflections. In Advances in Child Development and Behavior, secondary source, 241-288.

Bradley, R. H. & Corwyn, R. F. (2002). Socioeconomic status and child development [Electronic Version]. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 371-400.

Bracey, G. W. (1996). SES and involvement [Electronic version]. Phi Delta Kappan, 78. 169-170.

Caldwell, G. P. & Ginther, D.W. (1996). Differences in learning styles of low socioeconomic status for low and high achievers [Electronic version]. Education, 117, 141-148.

Constantino, R. (2005). Print environments between high and low socioeconomic (ses) communities [Electronic version]. Teacher Librarian, 32, 22-26.

Duncan, D. J., Yeung, W. J., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Smith, J. R. (1998). How much does childhood poverty affect the life chances of children? [Electronic Version]. American Sociological Review, 63, 406-424.

Lindjord, D. (2002). Families and adversity in the faltering U.S. economy: the misery goes on and on. Family review [Electronic version]. Journal of Early Education and Family Review, 10, 4-5.

Molfese, V., Dilalla, L., & Bunce, D. (1997). Prediction of the intelligence test scores of 3- to 8-year-old children by home environment, socioeconomic status, and biomedical risks. Merril-Palmer Quarterly, 43, secondary source, 219-234.

Molfese, V., Modglin, A., & Molfese, D. (2003). The role of environment in the development of reading skills [Electronic version]. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36, 59-67.

Ram, B. & Hou, F. (2003). Changes in family structure and child outcome: Roles of economic and familial resources [Electronic version]. Policy Studies Journal, 31, 309.

Vail, K. (2004). Grasping what kids need to raise performance [Electronic version]. The Education Digest, 69, 12-25.

Weinberg, D. H. (2003). Press briefing on 2002 income and poverty estimates [Electronic version]. U.S. Census Bureau.

Allison Milne, MEd., Wenatchee School District, Wenatchee, WA. Lee A. Plourde, Ph.D., Central Washington University-Wenatchee, WA.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Dr. Lee A. Plourde, Central Washington University, 213 N. Western Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801; Email: plourdel@cwu.edu
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Author:Plourde, Lee A.
Publication:Journal of Instructional Psychology
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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