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International Journal of Education and Practice

March 2018, Volume 6, 3, pp 147-166

Predictors of the Drop in School Marks in Secondary School: Evidence for Effects of Students’ Socio-Demographic Background

Florian Klapproth


Romain Martin

Florian Klapproth 1

Romain Martin 2

  1. Medical School Berlin Calandrellistrasse 1-9 12247 Berlin Germany 1

  2. University of Luxembourg 2, avenue de l’Université 4365 Esch-sur-Alzette Luxembourg 2

Pages: 147-166

DOI: 10.18488/journal.61.2018.63.147.166

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Article History:

Received: 24 May, 2018
Revised: 28 June, 2018
Accepted: 03 July, 2018
Published: 06 July, 2018


Referring to the stage environment fit theory (Eccles and Midgley, 1989) we examined whether after the transition from Luxembourgish primary to secondary school students’ school marks would drop. Actually, using latent growth curve modeling it was found that school marks deteriorated in their main school subjects German, French, and mathematics. The drop of school marks was larger in mathematics than in languages. Moreover, the drop of school marks was affected by various socio-demographic variables as the students’ gender, their socio-economic background, and their ethnicity. This finding stimulates the assumption that certain subpopulations of students in Luxembourg receive different support in school, regardless of their academic competences. However, even students’ competences were predictive of the development of their school marks. In the vocational track, high achievers were more likely to drop in school marks than low achievers. We presume that this result indicates a lack of academic challenges in the vocational track, which might eventually hinder better performing students in keeping their initial high achievement level.
Contribution/ Originality


Drop of school marks, Secondary school, Socio-demographic background, Latent growth curve Modeling, Transition, Stage-environment fit theory, Luxembourg.




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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Both authors contributed equally to the conception and design of the study.

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