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The relationship between socioeconomic status and the academic performance of paramedic students

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Abstract

Introduction/Background There are several factors that can affect a student’s academic performance. These include but are not limited to: family and peer support, previous education, and socioeconomic status (SES). Research indicates that students of lower SES are educationally disadvantaged. This study sought to examine the relationship between paramedic student academic performance and county-level SES indicators. Methods Student academic performance data from Fisdap was combined with data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings for 2017 and U.S. Census for counties within the states of California, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia. Multiple linear regression modeling was performed to determine the relationship between income, high school graduation rate, poverty and food insecurity with first-attempt scores on the Fisdap Paramedic Readiness Exam (PRE) versions 3 and 4. Counties with less than 5 reported PRE3 or PRE4 scores were excluded. One-way analysis of variance was performed between entrance exam (EE) score and parent education level. Results There were 3,697 records across 151 counties (PRE3),1,293 records across 60 counties (PRE4), and 3,607 records (EE) respectively. Results of the multiple linear regression models indicated that there was a significant collective effect between income, poverty, graduation rate, food insecurity, and both PRE3 scores (F(4,143)=10.66, p < .001, R2=.23) and PRE4 scores (F(4,54)=4.72, p < .01, R2=.26). Income, graduation rate and poverty were significant individual predictors in the PRE3 model, but only income was a significant predictor in the PRE4 model. ANOVA was statistically significant (p < 0.001) for EE score and parental education. Students whose parents had a high school diploma or less had the lowest EE scores (mean 77.42, SD 9.21) while students whose parents had a graduate degree had the highest EE scores (mean 81.55, SD 8.22). Discussion and Conclusion This study has demonstrated that county-level SES indicators including income, poverty level, high school graduation rate and food insecurity are associated with paramedic student academic performance. In addition, parent education level appears to be related to entrance exam scores, likely as one factor of SES. Since data was pulled and analyzed only at the county level, it remains unclear what type of relationship exists between individual SES and individual academic performance of paramedic students. These findings support the future collection of individual student level SES data in order to further explore the relationship between SES and academic performance.
INTRO
Several socioeconomic factors can impact student
academic performance:
Family/peer support
Previous education
Socioeconomic status (SES)
Previous research has demonstrated the connection
between academic performance and the above factors.
HYPOTHESIS
There is a relationship between paramedic student
academic performance and county-level SES.
METHODS
Student academic performance data, as measured by
Fisdap, were combined with data from the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings for 2017
and the U.S. Census Bureau for all counties in California,
Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Virginia.
Records from counties with fewer than 5 reported Fisdap
Paramedic Readiness Exam (versions 3 and 4) (PRE3 and
PRE4) scores were excluded.
Multiple linear regression modeling was performed to
determine the relationship between income, high school
graduation rate, poverty, and food insecurity with first-
attempt scores on PRE3 and PRE4.
RESULTS
Income, graduation rate and poverty were predictors in
the PRE3 model.
Income was statistically significant in the PRE4 model.
Parent education level was associated with entrance exam
(EE) score (higher education = higher EE score).
DOES YOUR ADDRESS
MAKE THE GRADE?
OTHER BACKGROUND
There are many SES indicators.
The following were examined for this study:
Income
Graduation rate
Poverty
Food insecurity
3,697 student records were accessed across
151 counties (PRE3).
1,293 student records were accessed across
60 counties (PRE4).
3,607 student records were accessed across
entrance exams.
LIMITATIONS
The study was limited to data obtained retrospectively
from self-reported demographics, and first attempts at
entrance exams, PRE3 and PRE4 submitted to Fisdap.
Not all paramedic programs in the United States
use the Fisdap database and testing products.
CONCLUSION
There are some associations between county-level SES
and paramedic student academic performance. However,
it remains unclear what type of relationship exists between
individual SES and individual paramedic student
academic performance.
There is an association
between county-level
socioeconomic indicators
and paramedic student
academic performance.
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large poster-1.indd 1 7/30/19 10:23 AM
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