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Journal Article: Field dependence and the school achievement gap between Anglo-American and Mexican-American children

Journal Article » Field dependence and the school achievement gap between Anglo-American and Mexican-American children


Elementary School Students, Field Dependence, Mathematics, Achievement, Mexican Americans, Reading Achievement, Sociocultural, Factors, Whites


Kagan, Spencer; Zahn, G. Lawrence


1975, Oct


Research supports the hypothesis that field dependence explains the poorer school achievement of Mexican-American children compared to Anglo-American children. To test that hypothesis, multiple regression and path analyses were used to interpret the relationships between culture, field dependence, and school achievement among 134 2nd-, 4th-, and 6th-grade Anglo-American and Mexican-American children. Results indicate that Mexican-Americans were significantly below Anglo-Americans in reading and math achievement, field independence was significantly correlated with both reading and math achievement, and Mexican-Americans were significantly more field dependent. Field dependence explains the cultural difference in math achievement but does not fully explain the cultural difference in reading achievement. Implications for understanding both field dependence and the nature of the observed cultural differences are discussed. (32 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA )