Prediction of academic achievement from some demographic, family background and locus of control variables among elementary school students

Year: 1994

Author: Khayyer, Mohammad, de Lacey, Philip R.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This study addressed three questions: first, the contribution of some demographic, familial and locus of control (LOC) variables in predicting academic achievement; secondly, the contribution of some familial and demographic variables in predicting LOC; thirdly, the direct and indirect effects of each demographic and familial variable on both LOC and academic achievement. Children were drawn randomly from six primary public schools. In total, the sample size consisted of 502 students in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 (235 boys and 267 girls).

The results showed that all of the independent variables, except family size and mother's work, made a significant contribution in predicting academic achievement. The best predictor of academic achievement was LOC and then SES, grade, sex and language background, in that order. It was shown that 22.6% of variation of academic achievement can be explained by the independent variables.

Grade, SES and language background, in that order, made significant contributions to predicting LOC. Only 7.4% of variation of LOC is explained by the independent variables. Family size and mother's work had indirect effects on academic achievement through their significant correlation with the other independent variables (SES, or family size, sex and mother's work). These variables had indirect effects on LOC through their significant correlations with SES. Causation was not necessarily implied, because the seven variables in the model might have shared their variances with other variables not included in the present study.