Factors Affecting Academic Achievement

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CHAPTER ONE Introduction Nationwide, no education issue has received more attention with the least progress yet than closing the academic achievement and attainment gaps for minorities. Over the course of time, educational social theorists have increasingly focused on cultural and socioeconomic factors to explain the existing differences in academic achievement among students (Pishghadam & Zabihi, 2011). It is through these cultural experiences, which are widely influenced by cultural and socioeconomic factors, that students attain a certain degree of cultural and social capital that serve as a predictor of their academic success (S. Kim & H. Kim, 2009). Along with cultural and social capital, self-efficacy is also a predictor for students’ academic success because it is an indicator of motivation and perseverance to reach a goal (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 2001). Of course we know, motivation plays a pivotal role in helping students surpass the obstacles they face. As if the factors affecting the academic achievement and attainment gap were not enough, students in light of self-preservation when seeking approval of significant family members and teachers engage in greater use of self-handicapping (Leondari & Gonida, 2007). Unfortunately, many of these obstacles students face is the result of cultural and socioeconomic factors and therefore beyond their control. The proposed study is designed to increase understanding of the cultural and socioeconomic
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