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Ethnic, Socioeconomic, and Home Language Influences Upon Early Performance on Measures of Abilities

Laosa, Luis M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Academic Achievement, Ethnic Groups, McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities, Mexican Americans, Preschool Children, Socioeconomic Influences


The study examined both the levels and the profiles of performance on measures of various abilities by children from Chicano and non-Hispanic White families of diverse socioeconomic levels, home language backgrounds, and family sizes. Measures were obtained when the children (N = 171) were 2 years and 6 months of age. Five ability areas were studied: verbal, reasoning, quantitative, memory, and motor—measured by the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities. Results revealed ethnic group differences in both (a) the absolute levels of performance in some ability areas and (b) the shapes of the profiles formed by the configuration of performance across the various ability areas. These ethnic group differences in performance were explained (statistically) on the basis of a combination of effects associated with ethnic group differences in socioeconomic status and home language. (83pp.)

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