Does Socio-Economic status affect the academic success rate for the adolescent?
Socio-economic status of an individual affects the entire social well being. Socio-economic status is an individual's or group's class or social standing. It is a combined measure of an individual's education, occupation, and income which overall depicts the social and economic position of that particular person to others. Consequently, the society has been stratified into three classes of people based on their socio-economic status; high, middle and low. By extension, socio-economic status includes the opportunities, privileges, and quality of life attributes afforded to people within the society. For example, low socioeconomic status correlates to poverty, poor health, and low educational achievement. As a result, socio-economic status of an individual becomes a reliable and consistent predictor of a cosmic array of effects across the entire lifespan, including academic attainments. People of high socioeconomic status have higher academic achievements as compared to those of low socio-economic status. Similarly, children belonging to high socioeconomic status parents exhibit excellence in educational attainments as contrasted to those from low socio-economic backgrounds. Ideally, socio-economic status effect family and societal resources as well as physical and psychological health and self-esteem which in turn influences the academic success rate for adolescents.
Defining Adolescence and its Context in Education
Adolescence is a critical phase of human development. It is a period during which an individual realizes rapid growth development and bodily as well as psychological changes. In fact, it is a period during one's life where an individual learns to manage emotions and relationships, develop knowledge and skills and acquire abilities and attributes which will be crucial for swift transition from childhood to adulthood as well as assuming adult roles required of a person during the entire course of life (Arnett, 2014).
Based on the years of an individual, adolescence falls between the ages of 13 and 19. But psychological and physical changes usually begin at the age of 9 through to 12 (Arnett, 2014). During the adolescence, an individual experiences several issues which include self-identity and independence, tough choices regarding drugs, sexuality, social life, alcohol, and schoolwork. Naturally, the adolescents experience romantic interests and peer group pressures during some junctures of their adolescence life.
In the United States, a child begins attending school at the age of six years. At this time, he or she begins with primary education for six years and later transitions to secondary school. In total, a child spends a combined total of twelve years to wind up both primary and secondary education.
In actual sense, secondary education is for children aged twelve to eighteen years. This means that most children experience their adolescence life during the secondary school education. Secondary school education is usually vital because students usually choose and pursue subjects that lead to a program in the college or university. It implies that despite undergoing the numerous turbulence that accompanies adolescence life, the individuals have to focus on their academic excellence for they shall determine their placement at the higher learning institutions and even determining their entry to college or a university.
Socioeconomic Status, Family and School Resources and Their Effect on Academic Success on Adolescents
Academic excellence is a function of family and school resources; that is to say, a family endowed with resources can afford quality education for their children for higher academic achievements. Similarly, a well-equipped school provides the learner with all he or she needs to master content and skills needed to demonstrate high academic achievement. Nonetheless, there exists a strong relationship between the socio-economic status of a family or a group of people and the availability of resources within the family and the educational facilities within such societies.
Usually, low socioeconomic status families reside in poorly developed areas where educational facilities are also poorly established which affect the academic success of the children. According to Aikens & Barbarin (2008), the schools in low socio-economic status communities are mostly under-resourced, and this negatively influences the student's educational progress and outcomes. Also, communities in low socio-economic status and under-resourced schools experience inadequate education and high dropouts among their children (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008). Usually, high dropouts in schools are experienced among adolescents who end up in streets to abuse drugs or drop out of school due to early pregnancies. The inadequate education and dropouts affect the academic achievement. Where an adolescent drops out, it means their education ends there, but for those who persist, still, their academic success is hurt by lack of adequate resources to sufficiently equip them with necessary skills they need realize their academic potential.
Also, low socio-economic families are endowed with low resources which in turn affect the early educational development for the adolescent during the elementary, primary school leading to low chances of academic success during secondary school education. According to Buckingham, Wheldall, & Beaman-Wheldall (2013), learners from low socio-economic families exhibit low experiences required to encourage the development of essential skills of reading acquisition like vocabulary, awareness and oral language. These are the necessary academic areas being developed at the primary school education in the American educational system. However, because children from low socio-economic families lack adequate experiences to quickly develop such skills, their educational success is hurt during the secondary education as new concepts are introduced, and their understanding depends on the acquisition of the primary school concepts.
Similarly, the poor families cater less educational materials for their children which affect their academic performances. The reading competency of secondary school students is primarily determined by the number of books owned and the home literacy environment (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008). However, poor households usually live in poor home environments where they lack access to learning materials and experiences including books, stimulating toys, tutors, computers and skill-building lessons that create a positive environment for the development of literacy. With lack of resources for literacy development, it almost becomes obvious that low socio-economic adolescents will have difficulties in acquiring concepts as they pursue their secondary education which negatively impacts on their success. On the other hand, high socioeconomic status adolescents have all the resources needed for literacy development thus stand a high chance of exceptional performance in their secondary school education.
Apart from lack of educational materials for children from low socio-economic communities, there is also lack of qualified and well-trained teachers to teach them and enhance their academic achievements. According to Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdo (2006), low-income schools stand low chances of well-qualified teachers. This means that adolescents from low socio-economic backgrounds have little hope, as compared to those of high socioeconomic status, of interacting with highly trained instructors who can efficiently equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to develop a high caliber educational foundation. Thus, their chances of educational success are hindered by lack of well-qualified teaching staff.
An investigation into the school environment reveals that the quality of a classroom has a huge impact on the academic success of a learner. According to Chetty et al. (2011), students who study in higher quality classrooms are likely to achieve more academic performance, attend a college and later in life be able to save more as well as living in better neighborhoods. On the contrary, low socioeconomic status children will study in low-quality classrooms, and their chances of good performances are low. Instead, they are likely to attain low academic performance, fail to join college and live in the same low socio-economic community.
Relationship between Socio-Economic Status and Physical and Psychological Problems and Effects on Education Success
Socio-economic status of an individual determines whether or not that person will develop psychological or physical problems. Disadvantaged social statuses are linked with high levels of psychological and physical problems lack attention, aggressiveness, and disinterest as well as physical disabilities (Booth & Gerard, 2011). This is because low socioeconomic individuals live in poverty conditions that impact of their development. For example, some of the children raised up in low socio-economic families experience adverse exposures to family conflicts that may lead to distress or dangerous environments where they are exposed to diseases that affect their health. Consequently, the physical and psychological problems negatively affect the academic success among the adolescents from low socio-economic societies.
When a child is brought up in the poor family background, he or she grows up with a poor psychological status that affects entire learning resulting in poor academic success. According to McLaughlin & Sheridan (2016), a child from a low-socio-economic society is exposed to adversities which reduce educational success. For example, at childhood, a child is exposed to toxic stress emanating from how the parents handle him or her leading to lasting impacts on behavior, learning, and health. Once a child develops behavioral and learning problems, the chances of achieving good academic performance diminish. This affects the child's educational journey from primary school to secondary where children from low socio-economic status often drop out.
Students from low socio-economic status will exhibit a high likelihood of developing behavior problems during their adolescence which will have negative influences on their education. In fact, children from lower socio-economic status families are twice likely to demonstrate learning-related behavior problems. Likewise, a child born to a low socio-economic status mother is most likely to display psychological problems that include disinterest, inattention as well as lack of attention in the classroom (Morgan et al., 2009). Such learning-related behavior problems may be amplified during adolescence where children show emotional behaviors and are likely to greatly reduce the learner's concentration in academic affairs leading to serious failure and even school dropout.
Also, the way in which parents react and perceive economic stress will impact on the child's emotional behaviors which can, in turn, affect their academic outcomes. According to Mistry, Benner, Tan, & Kim (2009), parental perception of personal financial constraints and family economic stress influence depression and distress among students. Depressed students will hardly pay attention to their academics and are more likely to fail. For example, when an adolescent knows that his or her parent will be unable to fund college or university education, he or she will be distressed and does not work hard for there is little or no prospect of proceeding with the education past secondary school. On the contrary, an adolescent from high socioeconomic status is often motivated by the parent to work hard so that they can take a good program in the higher learning...
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