Number of books at home as an indicator of socioeconomic status : Examining its extensions and their incremental validity for academic achievement

Faculty/Professorship: Developmental Psychology  
Author(s): Heppt, Birgit; Olczyk, Melanie; Volodina, Anna  
Title of the Journal: Social psychology of education : an international journal
ISSN: 1573-1928, 1381-2890
Publisher Information: Dordrecht [u.a.] : Springer Science + Business Media B.V
Year of publication: 2022
Volume: 25
Issue: 4
Pages: 903-928
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1007/s11218-022-09704-8
The present study investigates the incremental validity of the traditional books-at-home measure and selected extensions (i.e., number of children’s books and number of ebooks) for explaining students’ academic achievement as measured by their academic language comprehension. Using multiple linear regressions, we additionally explore the role of the source of information (i.e., whether information is given by parents or children). Based on cross-sectional data of a German sample of 2353 elementary school children from Grades 2 through 4, we found that parents’ information on the number of books and children’s books contributed to students’ academic language comprehension over and above parental occupation and education. Children’s information on the number of books did not further increase the amount of explained variance, and the effects were smaller than those for parents’ information. Yet, when investigated separately, both parents’ and children’s information on the number of books and children’s books at home predicted students’ academic language comprehension and mediated the relationship between more distal structural features of socioeconomic status (i.e., parents’ occupational status and education) and the outcome variable. No effect emerged for the number of ebooks. Our findings point to the robustness of the traditional books-at-home measure when used in parent questionnaires.
GND Keywords: Eltern; Buchbesitz; Kind; Erfolg; Studium
Keywords: Books-at-home measure, Validity, Socioeconomic status, Cultural capital, eBooks, Academic language
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CQ 2000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 21. November 2022
Project: Weiterentwicklung zu einem diagnostisch nutzbaren Testinstrument und Prüfung der Sensitivität für Fördereffekte (Kooperationsprojekt; BiSpra-Aufgaben)