Peer Relations and Student Achievement in Norwegian Secondary Schools

By Lihong Huang.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper investigates peer relation and its effects on student achievement in Norwegian secondary schools. Using data from the national survey ‘Young in Norway 2002’ of a sample of 11,406 secondary school students (ages 13-19), it explores the concept and measurement of peer relation in the school context. The paper also tests an analytical model, building on social capital theory that links various forms of peer relations at school, peer behaviour and attitudes in school, and student academic achievement, using structural modelling techniques. Testing the analytical model with female and male student, lower secondary and upper secondary student subgroup data takes gender and age perspectives into consideration. Finally, statistical results are presented and discussed, and implications for further research are provided. The study finds that peer relations have significant and strong effects on peer behaviour and attitudes, which in turn have strong effects on achievement, that close friendships seem beneficial while peer exclusion and party peer appear problematic and negative.

Keywords: Peer Relations, Upper Secondary School Student, Norway, Academic Achievement, LISREL

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp.295-306. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.265MB).

Dr. Lihong Huang

Researcher, Youth Research Group, NOVA - Norwegian Social Research, Oslo, Norway

Dr. Lihong Huang is a senior researcher NOVA - Norwegian Social Research, a research institute under the auspices of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. She is also a guest lecturer in the M.Phil program of Comparative and International Education at the University of Oslo. Lihong has a strong interest in comparative studies in the broad field of education. Some of her recent publications are: Elitism and Equality in Chinese Higher Education (a monograph published in 2005 at Stockholm University) and ‘Social Capital and Student Achievement in Norwegian Secondary Schools’ in Learning and Individual Differences, 19(3): 320-325. Gender segregation in student career aspirations in Norwegian secondary schools. In Baker, D.P. & Wiseman, A.W. (red.): Gender, equality and education from international and comparative perspectives. International perspectives on education and society Volume 10. UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, s. 333-356.

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