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A Hierarchical Linear Modelling Analysis of Ecological Predictors of Academic Achievement of Refugee Students in Kenya Open Access


Other title
Ecological predictors
Nested design
Academic achievement
Low-income countries
Refugee students
Academic performance of refugee students
Bio-ecological theory
Self-fulfilling prophecy
Parental involvement
Pygmalion effect
Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis
Teacher expectations
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Khaemba, Jane N
Supervisor and department
Parrila, Rauno (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Ogilvie, Linda (Nursing)
Wilkinson, Lori (Sociology)
Parrila, Rauno (Educational Psychology)
McQuarrie, Lynn(Educational Psychology)
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Rogers, Todd (Educational Psychology)
Department of Educational Psychology
Special Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Refugee children experience significant challenges in their schooling that can lead to poor performance and dropping out of school. To date, no study has examined what factors predict academic achievement of refugee youth in schools in low-income countries that host most of the world’s refugee students. The current study was conducted in primary (Grades 7 and 8; n = 400 students, 400 parents/guardians, 80 teachers, 20 schools) and secondary (Forms 1 and 2; n = 400 students, 400 parents/guardians, 80 teachers, 20 schools) schools in Kenya and examined individual, family, teacher, and school factors that may predict refugee students’ academic achievement. Predictor variables included measured variables (student self-efficacy, parental involvement, teacher expectations, and teachers’ self-efficacy) and status variables (student age, gender, and grade level; parent age, gender, level of education, family type, and housing status; teacher age, gender, qualifications, and experiences; and school location). A three-level hierarchical linear model (students nested within classes nested within schools) was used to analyze the data for primary schools and a two-level hierarchical linear model (students nested within schools) was used to analyze the data for secondary schools. The results showed that student self-efficacy, parental involvement, and teacher expectations were positively associated with students’ GPA both in primary and secondary schools, and teachers’ self-efficacy predicted primary school students’ GPA. Some status variables, such as family type and grade level predicted primary school students’ GPA, and parents’ level of education predicted secondary school students’ GPA. The age of the students, parents, or teachers, as well as teachers’ gender and qualifications had no significant association with students’ GPA in the final models. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are provided.
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