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Title:A Causal Analysis of Achievement Models for Language Minority Students in the United States: A Linear Structural Relations (Lisrel) Approach
Author(s):Wang, Lih-Shing Lilia
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cziko, Gary A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, General
Abstract:The purpose of the present study was to empirically test the validity of a theoretical model linking ethnic-language dominance, socio-economic status, and parental involvement to cognitive achievement and psychological orientation. An unbalanced, multi-group sample was randomly selected from the 1980 High School and Beyond national database. A total of 739 public high school sophomores with complete responses were sampled from three ethnic populations: Asian, Hispanic, and Anglo.
Using linear structural relations (LISREL) modeling as the main analytical procedure, the proposed model was evaluated at three phases. At phase one, a single-group analysis was conducted for each of the three ethnic groups to estimate the factor loadings and structural coefficients. At phase two, a multi-group analysis was used for each pair-wise combination of the three ethnic groups to determine the comparability of the postulated model across groups. At phase three, ethnicity was incorporated into the model for the pooled minority sample to examine the ethnicity effect on school outcomes.
The results confirm some popular theories and suggest alternative ways of thinking about others: (a) Ethnic-language dominance has a direct negative effect on English achievement, but through the positive effect mediated by psychological orientation it can function as a facilitator of second language learning. (b) Ethnic-language dominance facilitates quantitative learning only to a small extent for Hispanic students; Asian students' superior quantitative achievement in general does not seem to be causally related to their ethnic language status. (c) Socio-economic status effects positive learning directly for the Anglo but only indirectly through psychological orientation for the Asian and Hispanic. (d) Parental involvement has a strong detrimental effect on school learning, which can be nullified only if positive psychological orientation is encouraged. (e) The causal relationship between psychological orientation and academic achievement appears to be primarily uni-directional, with psychological orientation taking causal precedence over achievement.
Both the multi-group analysis and pooled-sample analysis indicate that there is substantial evidence that ethnicity is an important factor in causal modeling research. Any generalization about a generic causal model without due regard to ethnicity should be subject to scrutinization.
Issue Date:1988
Description:270 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823278
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1988

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