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Multi-domain and longitudinal studies of student achievement routinely find moderate to strong correlations across achievement domains and even stronger within-domain correlations over time. The purpose of this study is to examine the sources of these patterns analysing student achievement in 5 domains across Years 3, 5 and 7. The analysis is of longitudinal population data of over 22,000 students and utilizes fixed-effects models to incorporate stable general and domain-specific latent factors. These latent factors correspond to a general cognitive-ability-like factor and specific aptitudes in particular, or types of, subject areas. The preferred model incorporates both general and domain-specific latent factors with stronger effects for the general factor, although the domain-specific factors are particularly strong for spelling and numeracy. When taking into account general and domain-specific latent factors, the effects of student’s socioeconomic status (SES) and school SES are trivial.

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Journal Article

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