Socio-Family Context and Its Influence on Students’ PISA Reading Performance Scores: Evidence from Three Countries in Three Continents

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Esteban Vázquez-Cano
Ana María De la Calle-Cabrera
Carlos Hervás-Gómez
Eloy López-Meneses


Reading • PISA • assessment • context • socio-economic status


This investigation set out to analyse the relation between parents’ academic qualifications, profession and role in educating their children and their children’s level of efficacy in reading at the end of the adolescent stage, in three states with different socio-cultural contexts, namely Canada, Finland and Singapore. The study is carried out in three countries with differing socio-cultural contexts and uses multilevel analysis and binary logistic regression to measure the predictive value of socio-family skills in these three countries against a range of student reading ability profiles. The results show that the parents’ academic qualifications, profession and educational role are the most influential aspect of the predictability in the variability of their children’s reading skills. Parents with a low level of education predict poor student reading ability, but when it is the mother who has a medium or high level of education, the results of the students are better than when that level is only achieved by the father. Therefore, the educational role of mothers and fathers, as shown by the interest they take in their children’s schoolwork, is a predictor of students’ reading skills, regardless of the sociocultural and academic context of the students.


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