The effects of individual and familial factors on mathematics achievement for young women
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This study investigated the interaction between dimensions of individual student differences, familial factors, and parental involvement in their children’s academic education as accounting for female high school students’ achievement in mathematics and persistence in classes of advanced mathematics. The study utilized secondary data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study 1988. Individual student differences were assessed as differences in locus of control and math self-efficacy. Familial factors included the presence of older and younger brothers in the family. Parental involvement in their children’s schooling was assessed based both on parents’ reports and students’ reports. Statistical analyses included factor analysis and multiple regression analysis. Obtained results demonstrated that student individual factors had more impact on achievement in mathematics and in persistence in classes of advanced mathematics than parental involvement did, thus supporting the theoretical model of Bronfenbrenner (1999) with regard to proximity of influences. Presence of brothers in the family appeared not to have an effect on respondents’ mathematics achievement or mathematics-related choices.