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Peer Effects in the Individual and Group Literacy Achievement of High-School Students in a Bi-dialectal Context

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The theory of peer effect posits that students who find themselves in the company of high or low performing peers tend to exhibit better academic performance than what is solely attributable to their own individual characteristics. In this study, we investigate peer effects within literacy achievement among Trinidadian and Tobagonian youth, using a nationally representative sample of 15-year-old students. Findings indicate the presence of a strong literacy-based peer effect in mathematics, reading, and science even after controlling for individual demographic differences. Peer effect alone explained between 30% and 67% of the total variation in literacy. Implications are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Professor and Director of the School of Education, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados; 2: Planning and Institutional Research Officer, University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Barbados,; 3: Assistant Professor Department of Curriculum and Instruction Language, Diversity and Literacy Studies Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA; 4: Term Assistant Professor Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, School of Business, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, USA; 5: University of South Florida Childhood Education and Literacy Studies, Tampa, FL, USA

Publication date: February 17, 2019

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