Isaac Scientific Publishing

Journal of Advances in Education Research

Location Matters: Distinct Cognitive and Academic Profiles of Students from Rural versus Urban Poverty

Download PDF (502.1 KB) PP. 1 - 12 Pub. Date: February 15, 2019

DOI: 10.22606/jaer.2019.41001


  • Michele Tine
    Department of Education, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH, United States


It is essential to understand the strengths and weaknesses of students from distinct contexts so efficacious support can be designed. But, thus far research samples have been drawn almost exclusively from urban areas. Inadvertently, urban findings have been generalized to rural populations. This study addresses this issue by (a) comparing the unique cognitive processing abilities of students who grew up in low-income rural, low-income urban, high-income rural, and high-income urban contexts and (b) determining the relationship between their cognitive processing and academic achievement. Participants completed cognitive processing tasks measuring incidental memory, language, and inhibition as well as an academic achievement task. Low-income rural students exhibited distinct patterns from low-income urban students. The low-income rural students had lower inhibition scores and, unlike the other three groups, inhibition did not account for a signification portion of variance in their academic achievement scores. Potential explanations and implications of these rural-urban differences are discussed.


Poverty, cognition, academic achievement, rural.


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