Effects of ethnicity of examiner and type of social reinforcement used on the test performance of Mexican American students

Date
1980-08
Authors
Bell, Reva Pearl Houston
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Abstract

This study was designed to examine the effects ethnicity of the examiner and type of social reinforcement used had on the test performance of Mexican American students. Prior to this study, a myriad of research existed on the effects of examiner ethnicity and social reinforcement used with Black students and a lesser amount of research in this area with Mexican American subjects. There was a need, therefore, to add to this paucity of research.

The study included seventy-two students selected from four classrooms in a satellite center (school) in Fort Worth, Texas. Four examiners of Anglo and Mexican American ethnicity administered the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. To examine the hypotheses of this study, the subjects were divided into two groups in order to form two conditions: traditional and cultural reinforcement. They were then separated according to whether these conditions were administered by a Mexican American examiner or Anglo examiner to form a 2 x 2 (ethnicity of examiner by type of social reinforcement) factorial design. Raw scores, means and standard deviations were computed for all subjects. Six two-tailed t-tests were used to compare the groups. For further analysis a 2 x 2 analysis of data was computed. To further refine the summary of ANOVA data, ANOVA of simple effects was computed.

Results indicated that a statistically significant difference existed for (1) Mexican American students who received traditional social reinforcement from an Anglo examiner as compared to culturally relevant social reinforcement from an Anglo examiner, and (2) Mexican American students who received traditional social reinforcement from a Mexican American examiner and Mexican American students who received traditional reinforcement.

On the basis of the results of this study, it was concluded that ethnicity of the examiner and type of verbal social reinforcement do affect test performance of Mexican American students, but that further research is needed.

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Keywords
Education, Multicultural education, Bilingual education
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