This study uses a nationally representative student dataset to explore the limitations of commonly used measures of socioeconomic status (SES). Among the identified limitations are patterns of missing data that conflate the traditional conceptualization of SES with differences in family structure that have emerged in recent years and a lack of theoretically-based guidance for how the components of SES should be combined. Using kindergarten achievement data, the study illustrates how both the observed relation between SES and achievement and the observed interaction between SES and kindergarten program would be impacted by the use of different measures of SES. This study also explores the measurement of SES within a structural equation modeling (SEM) framework, highlighting both the relevant conceptual and measurement issues. Accessed 9,241 times on https://pareonline.net from May 15, 2014 to December 31, 2019. For downloads from January 1, 2020 forward, please click on the PlumX Metrics link to the right.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Dickinson, Emily R. and Adelson, Jill L.
"Exploring the Limitations of Measures of Students` Socioeconomic Status (SES),"
Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation: Vol. 19
, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol19/iss1/1