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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Relationship Between Students' Mathematics Achievement and Social Influence: Parental Involvement, Teacher Support, and Peer Influence

  • Author(s): Liu, Xingfeiyue
  • Advisor(s): Park, Soojin
  • et al.


This study explores the relationship between the level and the growth of students’ mathematics performance and parents, teacher, and peers social support during the middle and high school years. We used the data set of Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) to do a latent class analysis (LCA) combined with a growth modeling. We identified distinct classification of social support students receive and decided to choose four latent classes consisting of the subgroups: no support, teacher support, double support from parents and peers, and full support from parents, teachers and peers. The results indicate that the female students are less likely to get teacher support and the full support at grade 7. Also, the findings suggest students with more educated parents are more likely to be classified into subgroups in which the parents support is. Compared to other groups (the ‘teacher support’ group, the ‘double support’ group, and the ‘full support’ group), students with no support at grade 7 have a lower level of mathematics performance. Subsequently, those students have a lower growth rate of mathematics scores in the next five years, even after controlling the covariates like gender, race, the level of parents’ education, and parents’ occupation. The impact on mathematics performance and its growth differs by different patterns of social support. Our findings underscore that differential exposure to social support in middle school years plays a significant role on students’ future mathematics achievement.

Keywords: mathematics achievement, social support, parental involvement, teacher support, peers influence

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