Diverging Destinies: Maternal Education and the Developmental Gradient in Time With Children
Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th St, Chicago, IL, 60637, USA, .Demography (Impact Factor: 1.93). 08/2012; 49(4). DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0129-5
Using data from the 2003-2007 American Time Use Surveys (ATUS), we compare mothers' (N = 6,640) time spent in four parenting activities across maternal education and child age subgroups. We test the hypothesis that highly educated mothers not only spend more time in active child care than less-educated mothers but also alter the composition of that time to suit children's developmental needs more than less-educated mothers. Results support this hypothesis: not only do highly educated mothers invest more time in basic care and play when youngest children are infants or toddlers than when children are older, but differences across education groups in basic care and play time are largest among mothers with infants or toddlers; by contrast, highly educated mothers invest more time in management activities when children are 6 to 13 years old than when children are younger, and differences across education groups in management are largest among mothers with school-aged children. These patterns indicate that the education gradient in mothers' time with children is characterized by a "developmental gradient."
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- "This research note provides a preliminary description of data relevant to this issue from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), which, we argue, is a valuable source for demographers interested in studying family structure in a time of rapid change in how families are defined. The ATUS captures how and with whom people spend their time in a given day, with a long line of social science research underscoring time spent with children as a developmentally important marker of parenting investments (e.g., Bianchi 2011; Kalil et al. 2012). "
ABSTRACT: Public debate on same-sex marriage often focuses on the disadvantages that children raised by same-sex couples may face. On one hand, little evidence suggests any difference in the outcomes of children raised by same-sex parents and different-sex parents. On the other hand, most studies are limited by problems of sample selection and size, and few directly measure the parenting practices thought to influence child development. This research note demonstrates how the 2003–2013 American Time Use Survey (n = 44,188) may help to address these limitations. Two-tier Cragg’s Tobit alternative models estimated the amount of time that parents in different-sex and same-sex couples engaged in child-focused time. Women in same-sex couples were more likely than either women or men in different-sex couples to spend such time with children. Overall, women (regardless of the gender of their partners) and men coupled with other men spent significantly more time with children than men coupled with women, conditional on spending any child-focused time. These results support prior research that different-sex couples do not invest in children at appreciably different levels than same-sex couples. We highlight the potential for existing nationally representative data sets to provide preliminary insights into the developmental experiences of children in nontraditional families.
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- "The greater quality and quantity of engagement in these activities illustrates contemporary redundancy. Moreover, the tailoring of these activities to children's development across time (Kalil et al., 2012) illustrates the concept of thematic elaboration, which suggests that the continuity and regularity in the use of these parenting practices over the course of children's development contributes to their effectiveness in enhancing children's academic outcomes. A substantial amount of research demonstrates that cognitively stimulating parenting practices are a strong influence on children's academic outcomes (Path e in Figure 1). "
ABSTRACT: The importance of maternal education for children's academic outcomes is widely recognized, and yet the multiple potential mechanisms that explain this relationship are underexplored. The authors integrate theories of human, cultural, and social capital with 2 developmental psychology theories—bioecological theory and developmental niche theory—to draw attention to how maternal education may influence children's academic outcomes through a range of parenting mechanisms, some of which have been largely neglected in research. This framework provides a more complete picture of how maternal education shapes proximal and distal influences on children's academic outcomes and the ways in which these mechanisms interact and reinforce one another across time and context. The implications of this framework for future family research are then discussed.
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- "First, mother's highest grade completed may proxy for the level of human and social capital in the child's home. Guryan, Hurst, and Kearney (2008) and Kalil, Ryan, and Corey (2012) show that, controlling for hours spent in employment, more educated mothers not only spend more time with their children , but also spend that time in activities tailored to the child's developmental stage. Second and third, PIAT-math score and 8th grade grades, like the ASVAB math-verbal percentile score, proxy for the adolescent's cognitive skills at the time we begin observing her. "
ABSTRACT: We examine how neighborhood quality affects young adults’ educational outcomes, and whether neighborhood effects are moderated by cognitive test scores and other proxies for investments during childhood.·We use an index of census tract characteristics and census tract poverty rates to measure neighborhood disadvantage.·We find that young adults who lived in more disadvantaged neighborhoods during adolescence are less likely to obtain a high school diploma, enroll in a 2- or 4-year college, or complete a bachelor's degree compared to young adults who lived in advantaged neighborhoods during adolescence.·However, high cognitive test scores and high non-cognitive skills help young adults overcome the effects of having lived in a disadvantaged neighborhood during adolescence with respect to attainment of a high school diploma and enrollment in a two-or four-year college.
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