Measures and References: Socioeconomic Status

Return to Socioeconomic Status factor page.


Numerous measures exist to gain a full picture of a student's learning strengths and challenges. Following are examples of measures used to assess this Learner Factor. These measures should be administered and interpreted by experienced professionals.

SES Measurements (American Psychological Association, 2007): Several measurements can be used when determining SES. Typically, household income, parent education, and occupation are all considered. Sometimes researchers choose to use a student's individual SES, but they may also use an aggregated SES based on the school the student attends.


American Psychological Association, Task Force on Socioeconomic Status. (2007). Report of the APA Task Force on Socioeconomic Status. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bachman, H. J., Votruba-drzal, E., & Nokali, N. E. El. (2015). Opportunities for learning math in elementary school: Implications for SES disparities in procedural and conceptual math skills. American Educational Research Journal, 52(5), 894-923.

Basch, C. E. (2011). Vision and the achievement gap among urban minority youth. Journal of School Health, 81(10), 599-605.

Berzofsky, M., Smiley-McDonald, H., Moore, A., & Krebs, C. (2014). Measuring socioeconomic status (SES) in the NCVS: Background, options, and recommendations. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Bishop, D. (1982). TROG: Test for Reception of Grammar. England: Medical Research Council.

Byrnes, J. P., & Wasik, B. A. (2009). Factors predictive of mathematics achievement in kindergarten, first and third grades: An opportunity - propensity analysis. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34(2), 167-183.

Caldwell, B., & Bradley, R.H. (2005). HOME inventory administration manual, standard edition. Little Rock, AR: University of Arkansas.

Camburn, E. M., & Han, S. W. (2011). Two decades of generalizable evidence on US instruction from national surveys. Teachers College Record, 113(3), 561-610.

Casey, B. M., Dearing, E., Vasilyeva, M., Ganley, C. M., & Tine, M. (2011). Spatial and numerical predictors of measurement performance: The moderating effects of community income and gender. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103(2), 296-311.

D'angiulli, A., Herdman, A., Stapells, D., & Hertzman, C. (2008). Children's event-related potentials of auditory selective attention vary with their socioeconomic status. Neuropsychology, 22(3), 293-300.

Farah, M. J., Shera, D. M., Savage, J. H., Betancourt, L., Giannetta, J. M., Brodsky, N., … E.K., Hurt, H. (2006). Childhood poverty: Specific associations with neurocognitive development. Brain Research, 1110, 166-174.

Franzini, L., Taylor, W., Elliott, M. N., Cuccaro, P., Tortolero, S. R., Gilliland, M.J., … Schuster, M. A. (2010). Neighborhood characteristics favorable to outdoor physical activity: Disparities by socioeconomic and racial/ethnic composition. Health & Place, 16(2), 267-274.

Ganzeboom, H.B.G., de Graaf, P.M., Treiman, D.J., & de Leeuw, J. (1992). A standard International Socio-Economic Index of occupational status. Social Science Research, 21(1), 1-56.

Gonzales, N. A., Tein, J., Sandler, I. N., & Friedman, R. J. (2001). On the limits of coping: Interaction between stress and coping for inner-city adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16, 372-395.

Heppt, B., Haag, N., Bohme, K., & Stanat, P. (2015). The role of academic‐language features for reading comprehension of language‐minority students and students from low‐SES families. Reading Research Quarterly, 50(1), 61-82.

Irwin, K. C., & Britt, M. S. (2005). The algebraic nature of students' numerical manipulation in the New Zealand Numeracy Project. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 58(2), 169-188.

Jordan, N. C., & Levine, S. C. (2009). Socioeconomic variation, number competence, and mathematics learning difficulties in young children. Developmental Disabilities, 15, 60-68.

Kieffer, M. J. (2010). Socioeconomic status, English proficiency, and late-emerging reading difficulties. Educational Researcher, 39(6), 484-486.

Kirkpatrick, S. I., McIntyre, L., & Potestio, M. L. (2010). Child hunger and long-term adverse consequences for health. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 164(8), 754-762.

Krashen, S. (2013). Access to books and time to read versus the Common Core State Standards and tests. English Journal, 103(2), 21-29.

Krebs-Smith, S. M., Guenther, P. M., Subar, A. F., Kirkpatrick, S. I., & Dodd, K. W. (2010). Americans do not meet federal dietary recommendations. The Journal of Nutrition, 140(10), 1832-1838.

Lacour, M., & Tissington, L. D. (2011). The effects of poverty on academic achievement. Educational Research and Reviews, 6(7), 522-527.

Leach, J. M., Scarborough, H. S., & Rescorla, L. (2003). Late-emerging reading disabilities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(2), 211-224.

Levine, S. C., Vasilyeva, M., Lourenco, S. F., Newcombe, N. S., & Huttenlocher, J. (2005). Socioeconomic status modifies the sex difference in spatial skill. Psychological Science, 16(11), 841-845.

Lubienski, S. T. (2000). A clash of social class cultures? Students' experiences in a discussion-intensive seventh-grade mathematics classroom. The Elementary School Journal, 100(4), 377-403.

Lupien, S. J., King, S., Meaney, M. J., & McEwen, B. S. (2001). Can poverty get under your skin? Basal cortisol levels and cognitive function in children from low and high socioeconomic status. Development and Psychopathology, 13(3), 653-676.

MacArthur Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health. (2000). John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health Sociodemographic Questionnaire.

Pungello, E. P., Kupersmidt, J. B., Burchinal, M. R., & Patterson, C. J. (1996). Environmental risk factors and children's achievement from middle childhood to early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 32(4), 755.

Santiago, C. D., Wadsworth, M. E., & Stump, J. (2011). Socioeconomic status, neighborhood disadvantage, and poverty-related stress: Prospective effects on psychological syndromes among diverse low-income families. Journal of Economic Psychology, 32(2), 218-230.

Sarsour, K., Sheridan, M., Jutte, D., Nuru-jeter, A., Hinshaw, S., & Boyce, W. T. (2011). Family socioeconomic status and child executive functions: The roles of language, home environment, and single parenthood. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17, 120-132.