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.


Bachman, H. J., Votruba-drzal, E., & El Nokali, N. E. (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.

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.

Deflorio, L., & Beliakoff, A. (2015). Socioeconomic status and preschoolers' mathematical knowledge: The contribution of home activities and parent beliefs. Early Education and Development, 26(3), 319-341.

Dilworth-Bart, J. E. (2012). Does executive function mediate SES and home quality associations with academic readiness? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27, 416-425.

El-Sheikh, M., Bagley, E. J., Keiley, M., Elmore-Staton, L., Chen, E., & Buckhalt, J. A. (2013). Economic adversity and children's sleep problems: Multiple indicators and moderation of effects. Health Psychology, 32(8), 849.

Evans, G. W. (2004). The environment of childhood poverty. American Psychologist, 59(2), 77.

Jordan, N. C., Kaplan, D., Locuniak, M. N., & Ramineni, C. (2007). Predicting first-grade math achievement from developmental number sense trajectories. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 22(1), 36-46.

Jordan, N. C., Kaplan, D., Ramineni, C., & Locuniak, M. N. (2008). Development of number combination skill in the early school years: When do fingers help? Developmental Science, 5, 662-668.

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

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.

Malecki, C. K., & Demaray, M. K. (2006). Social support as a buffer in the relationship between socioeconomic status and academic performance. School Psychology Quarterly, 21(4), 375.

Noble, K. G., McCandliss, B. D., & Farah, M. J. (2007). Socioeconomic gradients predict individual differences in neurocognitive abilities. Developmental Science, 10, 464-480.

Ramani, G. B., & Siegler, R. (2011). Reducing the gap in numerical knowledge between low- and high-income preschoolers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 32, 146-159.

Sarsour, K., Sheridan, M., Jutte, D., Nuru-jeter, A., Hinshaw, S., & Boyce, W. T. (2010). 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.

Tucker-Drob, E. M., & Harden, K. P. (2012). Learning motivation mediates gene-by-socioeconomic status interaction on mathematics achievement in early childhood. Learning and Individual Differences, 22(1), 37-45.