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This study seeks to verify if the multilevel mechanisms of selfregulated learning (SRL) processes are consistent with the
analyzed data and test whether the mechanisms are mediating the effects of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS)
on mathematics performance.
This study draws its data from Macao-China’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2012 study.
Macao-China conducted the census of 45 schools and across those schools more than 98% of 15-year-old Macao-China
students have participated in this study. Based on social cognitive theories, two aspects of SRL (motivational beliefs and
prior content knowledge activation) are examined by using Hierarchical Linear Modeling.
At the student level of data analysis, the three SRL variables: Mathematics self-efficacy, mathematics intrinsic motivation,
and familiarity with mathematical concepts are the mediating variables. Across school to student level where peer effects
arise from school ESCS composition, mathematics self-efficacy is able to mediate the between-level effect of school ESCS
composition on student mathematics performance.
The significance of this study is that ESCS-performance gap in mathematics amongst students can be narrowed down by
introducing student’s regulation of motivation and cognition into the school’s mathematics curriculum. The promotion
of the educational quality can be done in tandem with the improvement of educational equity for ESCS-disadvantaged
Author Description: 
University of Macau, Macao, China; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Ieong, M. K., Cheung, K.-C., Sit, P.-S., Soh, K, & Mak, S.-K. (2016). Effects of economic, social and cultural status on mathematics performance: A multilevel mediation analysis of motivational beliefs and prior content knowledge activation. Contemporary Educational Research Quarterly, 24(4), 109-143.
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