Direct and Indirect Effects of Socioeconomic Status and Previous Mathematics Achievement on High School Advanced Mathematics Course Taking
Direct and indirect effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and previous mathematics achievement on high school advanced mathematics course taking were explored. Structural equation modeling was carried out on data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study: 1988 database. The two variables were placed in a model together with the mediating variables of parental involvement, educational aspirations of peers, student’s educational aspirations, and mathematics self-concept. A nonsignificant direct effect of SES on course taking suggests the lack of an ‘automatic’ privilege of high-SES students in terms of course placements. The significant indirect effect of previous mathematics achievement tells that it needs to be translated into high educational aspirations and a strong mathematics self-concept to eventually lead to advanced course taking.