PISA mathematics and reading performance differences of mainstream European and Turkish immigrant students

Serkan Arikan*, Fons J. R. van de Vijver, Kutlay Yagmur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Lower reading and mathematics performance of Turkish immigrant students as compared to mainstream European students could reflect differential learning outcomes, differential socioeconomic backgrounds of the groups, differential mainstream language proficiency, and/or test bias. Using PISA reading and mathematics scores of these groups, we examined the role of bias and various measures related to immigrant integration policies of the host societies. Results of a multilevel analysis of reading and mathematics tests demonstrated that at individual level, students with higher scores on an index of economic, social, and cultural status obtained higher achievement scores. At country level, MIPEX scores of education and the human development index of participating countries could predict differences in reading results but not in mathematics. After correction for background characteristics, effect sizes showed a difference of .65 SD (down from a value of .96 before correction) for reading and .58 SD (down from .78) for mathematics. However, a similar correction for background variables increased the score differences between Turkish immigrants and mainstreamers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-246
Number of pages18
JournalEducational Assessment Evaluation and Accountability
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Turkey
  • Europe
  • Immigrants
  • PISA
  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Multicultural policies
  • Achievement
  • Attainment
  • Education
  • States


Dive into the research topics of 'PISA mathematics and reading performance differences of mainstream European and Turkish immigrant students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this