The Socialization of Achievement in Poor and Minority Students A Comparative Study


Ethnic similarities and differences in children’s perceptions of their parents’ educational socialization practices and attributions for success and failure, and the impact of these variables on mathematics achievement, were examined in a sample of 591 poor African American, Latino, Indo-Chinese, and Caucasian fifth and sixth graders. Students completed the Educational Socialization Scale (ESS), the Sydney Attribution Scale (SAS), and the Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT) in math. Results revealed distinct ethnic differences in perceptions of educational socialization and attributions. However, the factors that distinguished the groups were not the ones that predicted higher mathematics achievement. Rather, the authors found evidence for the notion that higher achievement is predicted by both cultural universals as well as cultural specifics. Findings are discussed in terms of the culture and contexts of achievement.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology


Sage Publications

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Document Type