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Cognitive and educational attainment in different ethnic groups

  • A. M. West (a1), N. J. Mackintosh (a1) and C. G. N. Mascie-Taylor (a2)

The educational attainment of over 2000 children aged 7–15 years from six different ethnic groups was assessed. Children of Pakistani and of Bangladeshi origin tended to obtain the lowest mean scores on all tests, often well below those of West Indian children, who tended to perform as well as Indian children and often no worse than the indigenous majority. There were few signs of any reliable trends over age. Differences were more pronounced on tests of reading and vocabulary than on tests of mathematics but, on tests of non-verbal reasoning, most ethnic minorities also obtained low scores. Many of these differences were associated with differences in social and family circumstances.

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C. Mabey (1981) Black British literacy: a study of reading attainment of London black children from 8–15 years. Educ. Res. 23, 83.

N. J. Mackintosh & C. G. N. Mascie-Taylor (1986) The IQ question. In: Personality, Cognition and Values, pp. 77131. Edited by C. Bagley & G. K. Verma . Macmillan, London.

J. McFie & J. A. Thompson (1970) Intellectual abilities of immigrant children. Br. J. educ. Psychol. 40, 348.

J. Payne (1969) A comparative study of mental ability of seven- and eight-year-old British and West Indian children in a West Midland town. Br. J. educ. Psychol. 39, 326.

S. Scarr , B. K. Caparulo , B. M. Ferdman , R. B. Tower & J. Caplan (1983) Developmental status and school achievements of minority and non-minority children from birth to 18 years in a British Midlands town. Br. J. dev. Psychol. 1, 31.

W. Yule , M. Berger , M. Rutter & B. Yule (1975) Children of West Indian immigrants—II, intellectual performance and reading attainment. J. Child Psychol. Psychiat. 16, 1.

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Journal of Biosocial Science
  • ISSN: 0021-9320
  • EISSN: 1469-7599
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-biosocial-science
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