Student and school characteristics are associated with academic performance of high school students. However, few attempts have been made to examine the simultaneous influence of student and school factors on academic performance of youth in sub-Saharan Africa. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we examine student- and school- level predictors of academic performance of Ghanaian junior high school students. As other researchers have found, we note that age and gender are significant predictors of academic performance. Student traits, including academic self-efficacy and commitment to school, are positively associated with math and English scores. Class size and presence of a toilet facility are significant predictors of English scores. No school-level characteristic is significantly associated with math performance. Through this study, we suggest that student characteristics have more impact on youth’s academic performance than school characteristics.
Chowa, G. A. N., Masa, R. D., Ramos, Y., & Ansong, D. (2013). How do student and school characteristics influence youth academic performance in Ghana? A hierarchical linear modeling of baseline data from the YouthSave Ghana Experiment (CSD Working Paper No. 13-16). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.