Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




To determine the relation of socioeconomic and scholastic aptitude variants to academic achievement, data were collected from 332 elementary students in a small midwestern city. Independent variables included group aptitude test scores from third grade and fifth grade administrations, sex of subjects, family socioeconomic status (SES) based on parental occupation, and school of attendance (Title I versus Nontitle I). Dependent variables included group achievement test scores from third and fifth grade administrations and teacher grades for Reading and Math at fifth grade. Group aptitude indices included total aptitude scores and the difference between verbal and nonverbal aptitude scores. The study was designed to examine: (a) whether achievement patterns were the same for males and females when different levels of SES, total aptitude, and differences between verbal and nonverbal aptitude were considered; (b) whether similar results would be found at third and fifth grades and across various achievement measures (i.e., achievement subtests and teacher grades at fifth grade; and (c) whether SES distinctions based on family characteristics versus more general sociological characteristics (i.e., school of attendance) provided similar information about a student's probable level of academic achievement. In general, the data support achievement differences between males and females based on the interaction between total aptitude and verbal-nonverbal discrepancies. The contrast between high verbal and high nonverbal students was most pronounced for females with low to average total aptitude scores at third grade and for low total aptitude females again at fifth grade. A moderate degree of similarity was found between third and fifth grade results. Little similarity was found between achievement test performance and teacher grades at fifth grade. The variables of SES, total aptitude, and difference score accounted for approximately twice the variance in Reading Total and Math Total as in Reading Grade and Math Grade. The measurement of achievement based on SES and school were similar; with total aptitude partialled out, there was a differential effect by sex. Females were more sensitive to quality of school while males were more sensitive to quality of home.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Barrett G. Halderman



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

230 pages

Included in

Psychology Commons