Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance

The impact of students’ socio-demographic characteristics on their overall academic performance has been the subject of much scholarly literature, and it is a debated issue in contemporary academic discourse. Understanding how a student’s ethnicity affects their overall educational performance helps identify the key predictors that determine systemic learning outcomes, taking preventive steps based on evidence and the desire to improve the student’s personal experience. One of the pillars for in-depth study of this issue is the broad assumption of historical and social inequalities, leading to White students being systematically more likely than their peers of color to perform better academically. The psychological concept behind this hypothesis is that students stratified by ethnicity experience greater emotional and cognitive pressure during the educational process, failing to expend as many resources and energy on learning as their White classmates (Gougis, 2020; Maajida Aafreen et al., 2018). This literature review section seeks to explore this relationship through relevant research sources published over the past five years.

One of the most noticeable predictors of lower academic achievement for communities of color is the phenomenon of discrimination that qualitatively sets White students apart from their peers from alternative ethnic cohorts. One critical study in this area is an article by Stevens et al. (2018), who examined the relationship between discrimination against U.S. college students and their academic performance. The authors examined data from more than 69,000 U.S. students and concluded that members of communities of color, which include Hispanic, Black, Asian, Native American, and multiracial, were significantly more likely to experience academic discrimination than their White peers. Notably, Black students reported feeling discriminated against about four times as often as White students. In turn, students also stated that the discrimination they perceived hurt their academic performance, whether through unequal treatment by teachers or being forced to put more effort into their studies. One possible factor influencing the lower academic performance of communities of color in the context of discrimination is an emotional predictor, as “Blacks are burdened with the added stress of race prejudice throughout their academic careers” compared to White peers (Gougis, 2020, p. 1). It is likely that the development of this stress may also be due to the formation of majority pressure, as it has been found that students from an ethnic group that appears to be more represented in the course are more likely than their less represented peers to perform better in chemistry, physics, and psychology (Blatt et al., 2020). This latter finding suggests that students of color may perform better if they are more represented in the course.

However, there is ambiguity about the overall achievement gap between White communities and communities of color. For example, official government data reports that the achievement gap between Black and Hispanic students compared to White students has been narrowing significantly over the past fifteen years (Carnoy & García, 2017). This allows the achievement gap to be seen as a dynamic indicator that, despite optimistic changes, persists. However, government data cannot be extrapolated to younger students, for whom an increase in achievement inequality was found in terms of the ethnic communities mentioned over a twenty-year period (Paschall et al., 2018). In other words, it is correct to postulate that either the gap is narrowing only for adult students or there is an inconsistency in the published data.

However, discrimination against communities of color has been explored not only through student and faculty communication but also through the institutional tools of educational institutions. For example, an intriguing look at student achievement practices was contributed by Camelo & Elliott (2019), who examined the relationship between student food security and academic performance. The authors showed that Black and Hispanic students were more likely than others to suffer from low food security due to social inequality, resulting in significantly lower academic performance. Notably, low food security was associated with academic performance through mental health constructs (Martinez et al., 2020). Forced to worry more often than others about covering the fundamental needs of healthy and affordable food, these students are unable to invest in quality learning, causing their overall academic performance to fall. Another mediating factor between ethnicity and student achievement is financial ability. Black and Asian students have been shown to have less financial privilege to pay tuition, resulting in financially mediated stress that is destructive to student performance (Baker & Montalto, 2019). Thus, financial security has been identified as another predictor of lower academic achievement for communities of color.

Based on the literature review results, it became known that the issue of academic achievement has been extensively researched by independent authors. However, in virtually all studies examining the relationship between ethnicity and Final Grade, authors use mediating variables to describe the effects of food security, stress due to discriminatory practices, or financial security. The discussion of the study showed high academic value because it shed light on the problem of the relationship between a student’s ethnicity and their academic performance; however, it did show some contradictory conclusions. Moreover, no material has been found that directly measures the effects of students’ ethnicity on their overall academic performance, creating a dearth of reliable knowledge on this topic. Thus, in forthcoming research, it is appropriate to look at the direct relationship between the two variables in conjunction with the need to examine the pressure factor as a psychological concept that affects the academic performance of students of color.


Baker, A. R., & Montalto, C. P. (2019). Student loan debt and financial stress: Implications for academic performance. Journal of College Student Development, 60(1), 115-120.

Blatt, L., Schunn, C. D., Votruba-Drzal, E., & Rottman, B. M. (2020). Variation in which key motivational and academic resources relate to academic performance disparities across introductory college courses. International Journal of STEM Education, 7(1), 1-25.

Camelo, K., & Elliott, M. (2019). Food insecurity and academic achievement among college students at a public university in the United States. Journal of College Student Development, 60(3), 307-318.

Carnoy, M., & García, E. (2017). Five key trends in us student performance: progress by blacks and hispanics, the takeoff of asians, the stall of non-english speakers, the persistence of socioeconomic gaps, and the damaging effect of highly segregated schools [PDF document].

Gougis, R. A. (2020). The effects of prejudice and stress on the academic performance of Black- Americans. In U. Neisser (Ed.), The school achievement of minority children (pp. 145-158). Routledge.

Maajida Aafreen, M., Vishnu Priya, V., & Gayathri, R. (2018). Effect of stress on academic performance of students in different streams. Drug Invention Today, 10(9), 1776-1780.

Martinez, S. M., Frongillo, E. A., Leung, C., & Ritchie, L. (2020). No food for thought: Food insecurity is related to poor mental health and lower academic performance among students in California’s public university system. Journal of Health Psychology, 25(12), 1930-1939.

Paschall, K. W., Gershoff, E. T., & Kuhfeld, M. (2018). A two decade examination of historical race/ethnicity disparities in academic achievement by poverty status. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 47(6), 1164-1177.

Stevens, C., Liu, C. H., & Chen, J. A. (2018). Racial/ethnic disparities in US college students’ experience: Discrimination as an impediment to academic performance. Journal of American college health, 66(7), 665-673.

Cite this paper

Select a referencing style


AssignZen. (2023, August 8). Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance.

Work Cited

"Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance." AssignZen, 8 Aug. 2023,

1. AssignZen. "Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance." August 8, 2023.


AssignZen. "Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance." August 8, 2023.


AssignZen. 2023. "Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance." August 8, 2023.


AssignZen. (2023) 'Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance'. 8 August.

Click to copy

This report on Students’ Socio-Demographic Characteristics Importance was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Removal Request

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on Asignzen, request the removal.