Educational achievement in Maori: The roles of cultural identity and social disadvantage

Dannette Marie, David M. Fergusson, Joseph M. Boden

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigates the roles of Maori cultural identity and socioeconomic status in educational outcomes in a New Zealand birth cohort PIP studied from birth to the age of 25. There were statistically significant (all p values < .01) associations between cultural identity and educational outcomes, with those of Maori ethnic identification having generally lower levels of educational achievement outcomes when compared to non-Maori. In addition, those of Maori ethnic identification were exposed to significantly (p < .05) greater levels of socio-economic disadvantage in childhood. Control for socio-economic factors largely reduced the associations between cultural identity and educational outcomes to statistical non-significance. The findings suggest that educational underachievement amongst Maori can be largely explained by disparities in socio-economic status during childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-196
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Journal of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • achievement
  • cultural identity
  • social disadvantage
  • longitudinal study
  • indigenous peoples
  • socio-economic status
  • health
  • school
  • rates

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