In both educational and psychological research, the relation between socioeconomic status (SES) and academic achievement is the most widely examined contextual effect. While several research syntheses have reported evidence of positive and significant SES–achievement relations (i.e., higher SES is associated with better academic achievement in several domains), they also reported substantial variation across educational contexts, such as classrooms, schools, and educational systems, and proposed mechanisms underlying these relations. This chapter addressed this variation and tested three hypotheses on the interplay between socioeconomic status, the disciplinary climate in science lessons, and science achievement—the compensation hypothesis, the mediation hypothesis, and the moderation hypothesis. Utilizing the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 data from the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden), multilevel structural equation modeling provided evidence to test the contextual, indirect, and cross-level interaction effects. While evidence for the compensation hypothesis existed in most Nordic countries, evidence supporting the mediating and moderating roles of the disciplinary climate for the SES–achievement relation was sparse.
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