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Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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Psicothema, 2011. Vol. Vol. 23 (nº 4). 695-700




Cognitive abilities, sociocultural background and academic achievement

António Diniz1, Margarida Dias Pocinho2 and Leandro Silva Almeida3

1 Universidad de Évora (Portugal),
2 Universidad de Madeira (Portugal) and
3 Universidad de Minho (Portugal)

The influence of students’ sociocultural background on academic achievement is a well established fact. Research also points out that sociocultural background is related to students’ cognitive abilities and these have an effect on their academic achievement. However, the mediator role of cognitive abilities on the relationship between sociocultural background and academic achievement is less well known. A structural equation model that represents these relationships was tested in a sample (N= 728) of Portuguese junior high school students. Multigroup analysis of the model showed the importance of the cognitive ability mediation effect between sociocultural background and academic achievement in the 7th and 9th grades, but not in the 8th grade. This difference may be the result of the academic transition experienced in the 7th and 9th grades in the Portuguese educational system, which requires parents’ higher involvement in school.

Variables cognitivas, nivel sociocultural y rendimiento académico.La influencia del nivel sociocultural del alumno en su rendimiento académico está bien establecida en la investigación. De la misma forma, los estudios muestran que el nivel sociocultural está relacionado con las habilidades cognitivas y que éstas tienen un efecto en el rendimiento académico. Con todo, está poco estudiado el papel de la mediación de las habilidades cognitivas en la relación entre el nivel sociocultural y el rendimiento académico. En base a estas relaciones, se ha probado un modelo de ecuaciones estructurales en una muestra (N= 728) de alumnos portugueses entre el 7º y el 9º año de escolaridad básica. El análisis multigrupo del modelo mostró la importancia del efecto de la mediación de las habilidades cognitivas en la relación entre el nivel sociocultural y el rendimiento académico de los alumnos de 7º y 9º año, pero no para los alumnos de 8º año. Esa diferencia puede producirse debido a una mayor inversión escolar de los padres de alumnos de 7º y 9º año, ya que en el sistema educativo portugués son años de transición académica.

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