Asian American students perform better than all other ethnic groups when it comes to science and math, with males in particular scoring better, a new US study has found.
US researchers Nicole Else-Quest, Concetta Mineo and Ashley Higgins studied 367 White, African American, Latino/Latina, and Asian American 10th grade male and female students in math and science.
The study results indicated that while male and female adolescents earned similar grades in math and science, Asian American students outperformed all other ethnic groups, with males in particular receiving the highest scores.
Furthermore, the researchers found that Latino and African American male students received the lowest scores in math and science.
“Asian American male adolescents consistently demonstrated the highest achievement compared to other adolescents, mirroring the ‘model minority’ stereotype,” the researchers said in a statement.
The researchers also studied the students’ perceptions of their abilities in math and science.
While compared to men, women continue to be underrepresented in math and science courses and careers, researchers found.
According to a study published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, a SAGE journal, male and female students earn similar grades in math and science while Asian American students of both genders outperform all other races.
Male students reported a greater perception of their own ability in math as well as higher expectations of success, while female students reported greater value of science than their male counterparts. These findings did not vary across ethnicities.
The researchers also took into account the effects of family income and education on school achievement. Still, self-concept, task value, and expectations of success were strong predictors of student achievement in math and science.
“Despite gender similarities in math and science achievement, female adolescents tend to believe their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) abilities are just not as strong as those of their male classmates,” said Else-Quest, a lead author and developmental psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.