09 SES 02 C, Improving Measures of Socio-Economic Status to Support Educational Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Although measures of socio-economic status (SES) are well established in large-scale educational surveys, their effectiveness for low- and middle-income countries requires greater investigation (Bloem, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to compare psychometric properties of SES-related measures for low- and middle-income countries in large-scale international assessments against a group of higher income countries. The analyses draws on data from students who participated in TIMSS 2011 and in PIRLS 2011 (including those who participated in prePIRLS). All lower- and middle-income countries participating in these studies were selected for analysis to form one country group. Additionally, several countries with a range of expenditure amongst OECD countries, larger English speaking countries, and countries representing Europe and Asia were selected as part of comparison group to contrast findings. The measures examined include questions on home possessions, the number of books at home, parental education, parental occupation as well as questions on school and neighbourhood characteristics. Three types of analyses were conducted on each dataset. Missing data analyses were run to compare the proportion of missing data across SES-related questions and across country groupings. Reliability analyses were conducted for home possession items (both international and national) and contrasted across country groupings. Finally, regression analyses were undertaken to explore the relative predictive power of the different SES-related measures on student achievement. Overall the results reveal some patterns in the rates of missing data and the reliabilities of home possession items across country groupings. They also reveal differences in the effectiveness of the different SES measures in explaining variance in student achievement across the two groups of countries. Implications for refining the SES measures to become more effective for lower- and middle-income countries are discussed.
Bloem, S. (2013). PISA in Low and Middle Income Countries: OECD Publishing.
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