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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Predictors of Academic Achievement Among Homeless and Low-Income Housed Children
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Based on a study of sheltered homeless and low-income housed families, predictors of academic achievement among 174 English-speaking children age 6 and older were examined, focusing on housing status, mobility, and race/ethnicity. Days absent from school was hypothesized as the mediating link between homelessness and academic achievement. In multivariate analyses, a composite measure of academic achievement was independently predicted by child's gender (girls scoring higher than boys), race/ethnic status (non-Latino Whites scoring higher than children of color), age, and school mobility. Housing status was not associated with academic achievement. Results indicated that homeless and housed children had comparable rates of absenteeism and other school-related problems, which may explain why homeless and housed children were similar in terms of achievement. Although children of color were equivalent to non-Latino White children in terms of nonverbal intellectual ability, their lower academic achievement scores suggest that they are not reaching their academic potential. (Authors)