An investigation of the relationship among the affective, parental, social and peer influences on achievement in mathematics of females and males among Black, Anglo, and Chicano adolescents



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Purposes. The essence of the study was to explore mathematics achievement differences of males and females using ethnicity as a variable; and the extent to which these differences are associated with differences in attitude toward mathematics, parental, societal and peer influences while controlling for grade. In the search of the literature, the researcher found no report on the sex-related differences in mathematics achievement of chicano adolescents, and only one such study was found which related to black adolescents. All studies involved primarily white, middle class populations. Schratz (1976) has reported on sex-related differences in mathematics achievement of black adolescents. He reported the existence of a trend for white adolescent males to outperform white adolescent females in mathematics; however, the real significance of Schratz's study was that black adolescent females outperformed black adolescent males in mathematics. Although it was not the purpose of Schratz1s study to analyze the reasons for this phenomena, he did report that socio-cultural family influences were suspected and that social pressures may not be uniform across ethnic groups. Therefore, the primary need for this research was to analyze and document the sex-related differences in mathematics achievement and influencing factors with ethnicity as a variable. This study sets a precedent in that it proposed to emphasize ethnicity. Procedures and Conclusion. A sample of twenty-five students was selected from each of the following groups utilizing a random member generator program; Sth grade Anglo, Black and Chicano males, Sth grade Anglo, Black and Chicano females, 11th grade Anglo, Black and Chicano males, 11th grade Anglo, Black and Chicano females for a total sample of 300. The sample was selected from a large school district in the Houston area whose clientele was composed of substantial numbers of all three ethnic groups chosen. All cognitive tests scores were obtained from the students permenant record. The school district chosen administered two standardized test; the Stanford Test of Academic Progress had been administered to the eleventh grade and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills had been administered to the eighth grade. However, the researcher administered the affective instruments to each subject used in the study. The five affective scores were obtained from the Revised Math Attitude Scale by Aiken and Dreger and the Fennema Sherman Scales: Mother Influence Score, Father Influence Score, Male Domain Score and the Usefulness Score. Seven independent variables along with one dependent variable, mathematics achievement, was considered. Independent variables, grade, sex, ethnicity, math attitude, parental influence, societal influence and peer influence were analyzed using multiple regression analysis from the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (S.P.S.S.) The general regression equation was Achievement = Control variable + Predictor variables + Categorical variables + Interaction, where grade was the control variable, the affective scores were the predictor variables, sex and ethnicity were the categorical variables, and predictors X categoricals were the interactions. [...]