Article

Parent educational investment and children’s general knowledge development

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Abstract

Drawing on longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999, this study used IRT modeling to operationalize a parental educational investment measure based upon Lareau’s notion of ‘concerted cultivation.’ The analysis used multilevel piecewise growth models regressing children’s general knowledge achievement from kindergarten through the first grade on a measure of concerted cultivation and indicators of the family context. The measure of concerted cultivation explained over 30% of the SES gradient and an additional 20–25% of the race/ethnic general knowledge gaps at kindergarten entry after controlling for SES, and was larger than the SES coefficient in magnitude. These findings (a) lend partial support to Lareau’s contention that concerted cultivation explains SES learning advantages; (b) contradict the argument that net of SES, concerted cultivation is mostly unrelated to race/ethnic gaps; (c) and raises questions about the importance concerted cultivation for learning disparities after school entry.

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... On the surface, these trends appear misaligned with theoretical conceptions (Lareau 2011). Low-income minority parents are thought to lack the economic, cultural, and social capital that enable involvement in children's education (Bodovski and Farkas 2008;Cheadle 2009;Dumais 2002). Yet empirical findings indicate that parental homework help may require fewer economic, cultural, and social resources than do other conventional forms of parental involvement (Chin and Phillips 2004;Posey-Maddox 2014;Roksa and Potter 2011). ...
... This methodological approach may mask important variations in the relationship. Factors such as prior achievement and sociodemographic characteristics may be indicative of motivations that are related to a high likelihood of parents providing homework help, as well as possible academic benefits for children (Cheadle 2009;Chin and Phillips 2004;Jeynes 2011). Some studies have used interactions to examine class and racial differences in the relationship between parental homework help and student achievement (Desimone 1999;Domina 2005;Lee and Bowen 2006;McNeal 2001), but prior research has not investigated the influence of parental homework help for children whose parents have a high propensity to provide this help. ...
... Along with low achievement, socioeconomically disadvantaged children are also more likely to attend underperforming schools, which could amplify the importance of parents' routine assistance with academic material (Jeynes 2011;Quadlin 2015). Our findings offer some support for the idea that children with low achievement in socioeconomically disadvantaged contexts may benefit from intensive academic support from their parents (see Callahan et al. 1998;Cheadle 2009;Covay and Carbonaro 2010;Domina 2005;Jeynes 2011). Propensity score-based estimates indicate that the benefits of daily parental homework help could have a small compensatory role for children between first and third grade. ...
Article
Previous analyses of large national datasets have tended to report a negative relationship between parental homework help and student achievement. Yet these studies have not examined heterogeneity in this relationship based on the propensity for a parent to provide homework help. By using a propensity score–based approach, this study investigates the relationship between daily parental homework help in first grade and student achievement in third grade with nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Class. Results indicated that low prior achievement, socioeconomic disadvantage, and minority status were associated with a high propensity to provide daily homework help. Daily parental homework help was also associated with improved achievement for children whose parents had a high propensity to provide daily homework help. These patterns suggest that complex factors induce daily parental homework help and that these factors are related to heterogeneity in the relationship between daily parental homework help and achievement.
... This modeling approach is useful when wanting to compare rates of change during two or more different time periods. For instance, a PGM can be used to model different rates for longitudinal data collected during an intervention as well as in a follow-up period (Chou, Yang, Pentz, & Hser, 2004;Duong, Cruz, King, Violette, & McCarty, 2016;Wen, Bulotsky-Shearer, Hahs-Vaughn, & Korfmacher, 2012), before, during, and after treatment (Lehman, Kirsch, & Jones, 2015;Rolfe et al., 2010), during the academic year separate from the summer period (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008;Cheadle, 2008;Cheadle, 2009;McCoach & Kaniskan, 2010;McCoach, O'Connell, Reis, & Levitt, 2006;Rambo-Hernandez, & McCoach, 2015), or collected for different school grades (Kieffer, 2011;Kohli, Sullivan, Sadeh, & Zopluoglu, 2015;Li, Duncan, Duncan, & Hops, 2001). ...
... A two-level PGM, where measurement occasions are nested within individuals, can be extended to a three-level PGM by including a higher clustering level to model individuals nested within schools, classrooms, neighborhoods, hospitals, etc. Examples of use of a three-level PGM are commonly found in the social sciences literature, especially in educational research (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008;Cheadle, 2008;Cheadle, 2009;Chou et al., 2004;McCoach et al., 2006;Rambo-Hernandez, & McCoach, 2015;Wen et al., 2012). Ignoring a clustering level could result in biased fixed effect estimates, biased standard error estimates, and overestimated lowerlevel variance component estimates (Moerbeek, 2004;Tranmer & Steel, 2001;Van den Noortgate, Opdenakker, & Onghena, 2005). ...
... The interpretation of the other terms in the model will depend on the coding scheme used for the two time variables (TIME1tij and TIME2tij). Commonly in educational research, coding of the time variables is done so that the intercept represents the initial status (i.e., first time-point) and the two coefficients would represent the growth rates for each time-period (e.g., Aikens & Barbarin, 2008;Cheadle, 2008;Cheadle, 2009;Kieffer, 2011;Li et al., 2001;McCoach & Kaniskan, 2010;McCoach et al., 2006;Palardy, 2010;Rambo-Hernandez, & McCoach, 2015). In this study the example dataset is education related, therefore the demonstrations will use the coding scheme where π0ij represents the expected initial status score for student i in school j and the two growth parameters, π1ij and π2ij, represent the expected growth rates for the first and second time-periods, respectively, for student i in school j. ...
Article
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This study proposes a new model, termed the multiple membership piecewise growth model (MM-PGM), to handle individual mobility across clusters frequently encountered in longitudinal studies, especially in educational research wherein some students could attend multiple schools during the course of the study. A real data set containing some students who switched elementary schools was used to demonstrate and explain the MM-PGM. Parameter and model fit differences were compared between the MM-PGM and two other techniques for handling student mobility: the first school-PGM, which only used school membership at the first measurement occasion, and the delete-PGM, which removed mobile students from the analysis. Results indicated that the three approaches of handling mobile students led to different conclusions about the impact of school-level predictors of growth parameters and the school-level variability in the growth rates. Furthermore, deleting mobile students altered the impact of student-level predictors compared to the other two approaches.
... Some are examining variations within social classes (Bennett, Lutz, & Jayaram, 2012;Carolan & Wasserman, 2015;Perrier, 2012) and school sectors (Dumais, 2005). Others are examining changes across generations (e.g., Roska & Potter, 2011) and among minority ethnic and racial groups (Archer, 2010;Banks, 2012;Bodovski, 2010;Cheadle, 2009;Cheadle & Amato, 2011;Dumais et al., 2012;Hadley, 2009;Vincent, Rollock, Ball, & Gillborn, 2012). Jack (2015), for instance, examined varying orientations among lower income students in high-status universities, interpreting cultural capital as eased interactions with faculty. ...
... Third, as mentioned in the previous section, Lareau has inspired a branch of survey research that has quantified her concept of concerted cultivation (Bodovski, 2010;Bodovski & Farkas, 2008;Buis, 2013;Cheadle, 2008Cheadle, , 2009Cheadle & Amato, 2011;Condron, 2007;Domina, 2005;Dumais, 2005Dumais, , 2006Dumais et al., 2012;Henderson, 2013;Kloosterman, Notten, Tolsma, & Kraaykamp, 2011;Nelson & Schutz, 2007;Redford, Johnson, & Honnold, 2009;Potter & Roska, 2013;Roska & Potter, 2011;Weininger, Lareau, & Conley, 2015). These hybrid studies have brought mixed results. ...
Article
This article examines evolving uses of Bourdieu’s signature concept of Cultural Capital in American educational research. Bourdieu originally developed the concept in the 1960s and 1970s by mixing French intellectual traditions with ideas from American social science. American researchers have adopted the term over three generations. The first generation understood the concept during the 1970s and early 1980s within broader traditions of mobility research, educational stratification, and conflict theory. Between the late 1980s and early 2000s, a second generation produced three variants of the concept. Over the past decade, a third generation has elaborated those variants into three distinct streams. A first stream, the “DiMaggio tradition,” uses survey methods to conceive cultural capital as resources that shape student outcomes. A second stream, the “Lareau tradition,” uses qualitative observations to interpret cultural capital as family strategies that align with schools’ institutional rewards. A third stream, the “Collins tradition,” offers the most micro-oriented conception of cultural capital, seen as stocks of meanings that facilitate ritual interactions. We end by assessing this evolution and offering possibilities for a next generation of research.
... In this paper, we empirically test the two interpretations that cultural capital affects educational success by (a) sending signals of academic brilliance to teachers, and (b) fostering skills in children. We focus on three aspects of cultural capital-familiarity with legitimate culture, reading interest, and communicative and social skills-and build on an existing literature that finds positive correlations between these aspects of children's cultural capital and different measures of educational success, for example test scores, grades, and final educational attainment (e.g., Bodovski, 2010;Bodovski & Farkas, 2008;Cheadle, 2008Cheadle, , 2009Covay & Carbonaro, 2010;DiMaggio, 1982;Gaddis, 2013;Sullivan, 2001). While this literature shows that cultural capital has a positive direct effect on educational success, it does not distinguish the two mechanisms outlined above through which cultural capital might operate. ...
... (2) their reading interest; and (3) their participation in athletics and clubs. Others have used the ECLS-K and ECLS-K:2011 to measure cultural capital in similar fashion (Bodovski, 2010;Bodovski & Farkas, 2008;Cheadle, 2008Cheadle, , 2009Covay & Carbonaro, 2010;Dumais, 2006aDumais, , 2006bPotter, Mashburn, & Grissmer, 2013). We include TA B L E 1 Mean, standard deviation, and intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) three different aspects of cultural capital because there is consensus that cultural capital pertains to more than familiarity with legitimate or "highbrow" culture (Lareau & Weininger, 2003). ...
Article
In this paper, we test two mechanisms through which cultural capital might affect educational performance: (a) teachers misinterpreting cultural capital as signals of academic brilliance and (b) cultural capital fostering skills in children that enhance educational performance. We analyse data from the ECLS‐K and ECLS‐K:2011 from the United States and focus on three aspects of children’s cultural capital: participation in performing arts, reading interest and participation in athletics and clubs. We find that (1) none of the three aspects of cultural capital that we consider affects teachers’ evaluations of children’s academic skills; (2) reading interest has a direct positive effect on educational performance; and (3) the direct effect of reading interest on educational performance does not depend on schooling context. Our results provide little support for the hypothesis that cultural capital operates via signals about academic brilliance. Instead, they suggest that cultural capital fosters skills in children that enhance educational performance. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings.
... Whatever their form, conducive and nurturing expectations, strategies, and interactions are more commonly found among middle-class parents than among low-SES parents, and these parenting practices help children develop skills that are valued in school and later in the workplace. Several empirical studies suggest that parenting behaviors-measured either as expectations and aspirations (Bodovski and Farkas, 2008;Dumais, 2002;Gaddis, 2013;Irwin and Elley, 2011) or nurturing/stimulating practices (Cheadle 2008(Cheadle , 2009Cheadle and Amato 2011;Redford et al. 2009)-are positively related to both family SES and child cognitive and behavioral skills. ...
Article
The 1962-67 High/Scope Perry Preschool Program, a well-known experimental early childhood intervention study that provided quality preschool education to disadvantaged children, has been shown to have had positive impacts on early child development and on a variety of adulthood outcomes. However, most previous analyses have only examined average treatment effects across all program participants without exploring possible effect heterogeneity by children's background characteristics. We investigated this question by first using the 1964-65 Current Population Survey data in combination with the Perry data to construct a scale of child socioeconomic status based on the estimated propensity for inclusion in the Perry program, then analyzing effect heterogeneity within the Perry sample by strata of our socioeconomic scale. We found that the treatment effects of enrollment in the Perry preschool on cognitive and non-cognitive skills were much larger and more persistent among the most disadvantaged children than among others in the Perry program. Furthermore, among the most disadvantaged children, the treatment (i.e., preschool enrollment) affects later outcomes through a reinforcement mechanism of skill development (i.e., early cognitive gain leads to a non-cognitive gain, which in turn leads to later cognitive gain) and a sequential improvement of cognitive skills over time. These findings have important implications for the evaluation of policy interventions in early child development using experimental data.
... Participation in a sports section and music and/or arts school, as well as having classical literature at home, are dichotomous. Prior studies routinely use participation in sports, art, and music as measures of cultural capital (Bodovski and Farkas 2008;Bodovski 2010;Cheadle 2008Cheadle , 2009Dumais 2002Dumais , 2013. The number of books is coded 1 for 0-10 books, 2 for 11-25 books, 3 for 26-100 books, 4 for 101-200 books, 5 for 201-500 books, and 6 for more than 500 books. ...
Article
Full-text available
Using newly available data from the Trajectories in Education and Careers Study, the first longitudinal study on a representative sample of high school students in Russia, we examined the importance of investments in human and cultural capital on students’ mathematics and reading standardized examinations, as well as on the likelihood of matriculation into a selective institution of higher education. Studying mathematics and the Russian language on one’s own for more than a year was positively and significantly associated with standardized scores and with an increased likelihood of matriculating into a selective university. A higher number of books at home was also associated with an increased likelihood of matriculating into a selective university. The findings are discussed within the particular institutional context of the Russian educational system.
... Bu çalışmayla ilgili olarak diğer bir genel fen içerik alanı yaşam bilimleridir. Yaşam bilimleri insan, hayvan ve bitkilerin bölümleri, renk, şekil, doku gibi fiziksel özellikleri ve tüm özelliklerini, bitki ve hayvanları sınıflamayı, organizmaların yaşam döngülerini, kalıtımı, organizmalar ve çevre ilişkisi ile ilgili içerik bilgisini (Martin ve diğ., 2014;Jackman, 2011;Cheadle, 2009;Wortham, 2006;Illinois Erken Fen Öğrenme Standartları, 2002), adaptasyonu, çocukların kendileri ve çevrelerinde ortaya çıkan değişimlerin farkında olmalarını, canlıların temel gereksinimlerini karşılaştırma ve açıklamayı içermektedir. ...
... By contrast, due to financial and time constraints and a less intervening parenting style, children in lower-class households spend more of their time in unstructured activities (including television). Parenting practices of "concerted cultivation" appear to have a positive impact on child development and educational achievement (Bodovski and Farkas 2008;Cheadle 2008;Greeman et al. 2011) and seem to account partially for class differences in academic achievement (Cheadle 2009;Potter and Roksa 2013) Several quantitative studies confirm Lareau's qualitative study by identifying a negative association between parental socio-economic status and parental time with children spent watching television (Altintas 2012;Bihagen & Katz-Gerro 2000;Gracia 2015). In general, children with lower educated parents appear to watch more TV than children with highly educated parents (for a systematic review see Cillero and Jago 2010; see also Certain and Kahn 2002;Anand and Crosnick 2005;Espinosa et al. 2010). ...
Conference Paper
The socio-economic status of families plays an important role in shaping parenting behavior and children’s activities. Research shows, for example, that parents with higher socio-economic status spend more time reading to children whereas children from lower socio-economic backgrounds watch more television. These differences in so-called high-brow and low-brow activities are often cited as one of the reasons underlying the disadvantages in academic achievement and educational attainment observed for children from families with lower socio-economic status. Nonetheless, the immediate consequences of these activities, particularly of watching television, for children’s cognitive and behavioral development are still the subject of controversial scientific and public debate. In this paper, we used data on children living in Scotland and born between June 2004 and May 2005 to address three questions: (1) Are there differences in the growth of children’s weekly television consumption from age two to age four depending on their parents’ education? (2) Is early television consumption associated with differences in vocabulary, reasoning ability, and behavioral problems at age 5? (3) Does this association differ by parents’ education? Our analyses showed that television consumption was indeed higher for children of parents with lower education and also grew faster over time. But in the sample under study, we found no associations of television consumption with cognitive and language development and only very small ones with conduct problems and prosocial behavior. These associations with behavior were slightly larger for children whose parents attained lower secondary education or less. Given that we were able to account for many important drivers of both television consumption and child development, these results suggest that the impact of TV consumption on children’s development is less pronounced than often assumed and may not play a major role in explaining socio-economic differences in children’s academic achievement and educational attainment.
... For example, the children's home literacy environment includes language use and explanation or joint activities and conversation which are related to the development of the children's language competence and to further educational outcomes (e.g., Umek, Podlesek and Fekonja 2005). Relying on concepts like "concerted cultivation" and "accomplishment of natural growth" (Lareau 2003) activities are described at the family level and are strongly related to children's educational achievement (e.g., Bodovski and Farkas 2008;Cheadle 2009). Children from families with low socioeconomic status (SES) are more frequently left to their own devices. ...
Article
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In most western countries, the number of ‘children at risk’ for poor educational outcomes seems to have been increased in recent years. Nearly 20 % of the students in those countries meanwhile fail to acquire the levels of literacy, mathematics and science achievement that are required to effectively participate in today’s knowledge-based society. Thus, there is a strong need to extend research focusing on the identification of risk factors associated with these undesired educational outcomes in children. Although attempts have been made to conceptualize the issue of ‘children at risk’ for poor educational outcomes from the perspective of different scientific disciplines, the interplay of multiple risk factors located on the different levels focused by different disciplines has been rarely addressed. Thus, we advocate for more transdisciplinary activities integrating multiple scientific perspectives on the concept of ‘children at risk’ for poor educational outcomes. These activities should include at least three dimensions affecting developmental trajectories being important for children’s individual academic outcomes: (1) individual characteristics including both biological as well as psychological features, (2) contextual factors, as well as dynamics defined by (3) time changes and interactions between individual and contextual categories of risk factors.
... Among high-SES parents, the rise of parenting practices geared toward the cultivation of children's talents-what Lareau (2002) calls "concerted cultivation"-reflects changing parental preferences for childrearing. These behaviors also appear to have effects on child development and achievement (Bodovski and Farkas 2008;Cheadle 2008;Greeman et al. 2011) and to account for class gaps in achievement (Cheadle 2009;Potter and Roksa 2013). ...
Article
Historic increases in income inequality have coincided with widening class divides in parental investments of money and time in children. These widening class gaps are significant because parental investment is one pathway by which advantage is transmitted across generations. Using over three decades of micro-data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey and the American Heritage Time Use Survey linked to state-year measures of income inequality, we test the relationship between income inequality and class gaps in parental investment. We find robust evidence of wider class gaps in parental financial investments in children—but not parental time investments in children—when state-level income inequality is higher. We explore mechanisms that may drive the relationship between rising income inequality and widening class gaps in parental financial investments in children. This relationship is partially explained by the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution in state-years with higher inequality, which gives higher-earning households more money to spend on financial investments in children. In addition, we find evidence for contextual effects of higher income inequality that reshape parental preferences toward financial investment in children differentially by class.
... A model to distinguish between family-led learning and family-school partnerships has been developed in order to identify 'core constructs and elements that can be utilised to establish a consistent approach to measuring parental engagement and can inform policy and practice' (Fox & Olsen, 2014). To facilitate the inclusion of diverse perspectives this report adopts an inclusive approach to the many terms used to denote parent engagement such as: 'parent involvement' (Hoover-Dempsey, 2005), 'parental educational investment' (Cheadle, 2009), 'family involvement', 'family engagement', 'parent-school engagement' (Chenhall et al., 2011), 'community and parental engagement' (Wildy & Clark/WA Govt, 2005), 'community engagement' (Wilson/NT Govt, 2013), 'school partnerships' (Epstein, 2002;Wolfendale, 2006), 'parent engagement' (Maury, 2014) and 'parental engagement' (Emerson et al., 2012;Fox & Olsen/ACT Govt, 2014). ...
Technical Report
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This report documents the findings of an Australia-wide research project, Researching Parent Engagement: A Qualitative Field Study, undertaken by the Centre for Educational Research, Western Sydney University in collaboration with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY). A qualitative ethnographic approach explored parent engagement in contexts where little research has been done, focusing on Aboriginal, low-SES, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) parents, and parents of children with special needs. Research aims Aim 1: To explore the perspectives on learning of parents and educators of the four cohorts Aim 2: To investigate the views on the roles of parents and educators in relation to children’s learning Aim 3: To identify the barriers and enablers of parent engagement in children’s learning Aim 4: To make recommendations for future actions in relation to the findings
... At the same time, there are wide differences in parental educational practices according to socio-economic background. For example, parents with low levels of sociocultural resources disproportionally expose their children to television and free play, following a parenting style called ''accomplishment of natural growth'' by Lareau (2003) as opposed to a style of ''concerted cultivation'' involving the more frequent use of books and formalized activities typically adopted by parents with higher levels of resources (Cheadle, 2009). Accordingly, the stimuli that disadvantaged children are exposed to in (pre)school will partly offset the advantage that better-off children enjoy because of the stimuli received in their home environment. ...
Article
In this study we examine the extent to which preschool education can reduce social background differentials in learning outcomes across countries; our focus is on whether the benefits of preschool attendance for children depend on other family inputs such as parents’ education and their pedagogical involvement during early childhood. We use the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, which provides a standardized measure of reading literacy among students in 4th grade. Our sample contains data on 119,008 individuals from 28 developed countries. The presented evidence confirms that preschool is visibly beneficial in most cases, but also that benefits are lower for children who have more involved or more educated parents. Rather than complements to, parental involvement and parental education seem to be substitutes for preschool attendance in children’s skill production function. As such, preschool education reduces social inequalities in educational achievement. Yet, its equalizing potential could have been overstated in previous debates.
... Extensive research over several decades has documented a broad range of academic and socio-emotional benefits for children associated with parent involvement (Emerson, Fear, Fox, & Sanders, 2012;Wilder, 2014). Although the ongoing involvement and interest of parents provides students with support throughout their education, parent involvement is particularly effective in the earlier years of schooling, (Avvisati, Besbas, & Guyon, 2010;Borgonovi & Montt, 2012;Cheadle, 2009;Fan & Williams, 2010;Pomerantz, Moorman, & Litwack, 2007). These benefits are evident regardless of family social and economic background (Dearing, Kreider, Simpkins, & Weiss, 2006;Wilder, 2014). ...
... In addition, the findings also indicate that mothers' and fathers' depression is associated with higher levels of relationship distress, which points to the importance of mental health and the quality of intimate relationships for sustaining romantic partnerships. Thus, similar to previous research, this study shows that depression affects the quality of intimate partnerships for both parents Kouros and Cummings 2011), while also elaborating on these prior findings by showing that mental health is a strong antecedent that affects relationship functioning five years after the birth of a child, which is a critical time for both couples' stability (Cherlin 2010) and child development (Cheadle 2008). Thus, these results have broader implications not only for couples, but also children's well-being (McLanahan 2004), as a mother's mental health appears to influence both her economic chances and to put a strain on her relationship. ...
Article
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Using data from the FFCW (n = 1,492 couples), the authors assessed stress, health selection, and couple-crossover hypotheses by examining (1) the bidirectional association between economic hardship and depressive symptoms one, three, and five years after the birth of a child; (2) the association between economic hardship and depression on relationship distress for both parents; and (3) whether the associations vary by marital status. The results suggest a pernicious cycle for mothers after the birth of a child. Economic hardship increases depression, but maternal depression also increases economic hardship. These reinforcing mechanisms increase both mothers’ and fathers’ relationship distress. Taken together, policies aimed at strengthening couples’ relationships should work in tandem with economic and mental health policies to reach optimal outcomes for couples with young children. Effect patterns were generally consistent between married and cohabiting couples, with some variation in levels of statistical significance.
... In contrast, children with parents who practiced the accomplishment of natural growth were more likely to spend non-school time in unstructured activities, did not challenge the direct orders of their parents, depended on institutions to tell them what to do, and were learning that institutions (like schools) can be constraining forces where experts (teachers) decide what is best for individuals. Subsequent studies examining concerted cultivation have recognized these different patterns by social class in the institutionalized contexts of preschool and elementary school (Cheadle, 2008(Cheadle, , 2009Nelson & Schutz, 2007) as well as in after-school activities (also see Dunn, Kinney, & Hofferth, 2003). Lareau hypothesized that these parenting differences would differentially advantage children raised with concerted cultivation as they transitioned to adulthood. ...
Article
Interview, survey, and academic transcript data with a diverse sample of first-generation college (FGC) and continuing generation college (CGC) premedical intended emerging adults are analyzed to study academic outcomes and any differences in the availability and use of social capital the first year of college. CGC students know many people with college degrees including those in careers they aspire to obtain, while FGC students do not. All students identify parents as very important forms of social capital who contribute to their success in college, but the types of support differs by educational background. Students whose parents have at least a bachelor’s degree (CGC) are “pulled” through their first year with specific advice from their parents about how to succeed in college, while FGC students are “pushed” by their parents with support. In addition, CGC students display evidence of enacting Lareau’s concept of concerted cultivation, being much more likely than FGC students to approach and gain assistance from professors, openly critiquing those professors and classes in which they are not doing well and showing a sense of entitlement to and confidence in their ability to stay on the premedical track, even when receiving low test scores.
... This involvement offers both immediate support, such as in supporting children's literacy and numeracy development, and as having longterm emotional, social and academic benefits (Avvisati, Besbas & Guyon, 2010;Borgonovi & Montt, 2012;Emerson et al., 2012;Fan & Williams, 2010). Although early involvement appears to be more important, parent involvement offers ongoing support throughout children's education (Borgonovi & Montt, 2012;Cheadle, 2009;Kreider, Caspe, Kennedy & Weiss, 2007;OECD, 2011;Pomeranz, Moorman & Litwack, 2007). ...
Article
Full-text available
Parent involvement in family-school partnerships is widely accepted as supporting improved student outcomes. International research indicates that the formation of these partnerships varies across family sociocultural backgrounds, and over time. Analysing longitudinal data, this paper examines patterns of parent involvement in family-school partnerships in the early years of formal schooling in Australia. Similar to experiences in other national contexts, parent involvement in home-, school- and community-based family–school partnership activities reduced as children moved through the school grades. Parent involvement also differed with family socioeconomic and cultural background. The implications of these differences in children’s experiences of parent involvement for family–school partnership theory and pedagogical practice are considered.
... By contrast, due to financial and time constraints and a less intervening parenting style, children in lower-class households spend more of their time in unstructured activities (including television). Parenting practices of "concerted cultivation" appear to have a positive impact on child development and educational achievement (Bodovski and Farkas 2008;Cheadle 2008;Greeman et al. 2011) and seem to account partially for class differences in academic achievement (Cheadle 2009;Potter and Roksa 2013) Several quantitative studies confirm Lareau's qualitative study by identifying a negative association between parental socio-economic status and parental time with children spent watching television (Altintas 2012;Bihagen & Katz-Gerro 2000;Gracia 2015). In general, children with lower educated parents appear to watch more TV than children with highly educated parents (for a systematic review see Cillero and Jago 2010; see also Certain and Kahn 2002;Anand and Crosnick 2005;Espinosa et al. 2010). ...
Article
The association between television exposure and children's development is subject to controversial debates. Heavy television exposure may be detrimental to children by overstimulating their developing brains. It may also infringe on time that children would otherwise spend on more developmentally beneficial activities or parental interactions. In the present analysis, we use data from the 2004/5 birth cohort of the Growing Up in Scotland study to investigate relations between hours of weekly television measured around the ages two to four and as average over this time span with children's linguistic, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes around age five. Our analysis shows differences in the level and growth of television exposure by parental education. However, we did not find any substantive associations between television exposure and children's cognitive or language ability. We found small associations of television exposure with conduct problems and prosocial behavior, particularly for children of less educated parents. Overall, the results suggest that the impact of television on children's development is less pronounced than often assumed.
... Importantly, social class differences in parenting (e.g., different ways of organizing time outside school hours) reproduce advantages for middle-class children and disadvantages for those from working-class and poor families (Lareau, 2003(Lareau, , 2011. According to quantitative studies based on longitudinal data from the U.S., parenting practices, interpreted as concerted cultivation, are associated with achievement at elementary school (Bodovski and Farkas, 2008;Cheadle, 2009) 5 and at high school (Carolan, 2016). ...
Article
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Annette Lareau coined the term “concerted cultivation” to describe the cultural logic of a distinctive middle-class parenting pattern. I explore whether concerted cultivation as practiced in Japan exhibits unique patterns in response to distinctive characteristics of the nation's education system (i.e., standardized compulsory education with high-stakes educational selection in secondary education). Using nationally representative longitudinal data on third-to sixth-grade children (N = 30187) through growth curve models, I show that college educated parents shift their focus of parenting practices (measured by four aspects) from providing diverse experiences to narrower academic preparation as the time for lower secondary education approaches. Using multivariate analyses with an additional wave of data in seventh grade, I further demonstrate that “unequal childhoods,”––the accumulated disparities in adult-led structured experiences––lead to unequal success in the transition to junior high school education, a critical period of preparation before the mass educational selection (i.e., high school admissions).
... It illuminates families' 'concerted cultivation', which is typically pursued by advantaged families, and involves intensive school engagement, participation in extra-curricular activities, and extensive educational materials in the home. This approach can promote a sense of confidence among children, creating a cultural edge in educational settings, and this has been supported by quantitative studies (Carolan & Wasserman, 2015;Cheadle, 2009;Cheadle & Amato, 2011;Irwin & Elley, 2011). However, the socio-economic status of families, along with racial/ethnic differences, remain the major correlates of parents' use of concerted cultivation. ...
Article
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Educational inequalities remain a major challenge to the social cohesion of modern societies. They affect the younger generations in the society throughout their development and are also becoming more varied and entrenched. Although most inequalities are linked to socio-economic factors such as income, access to material resources, educational attainment, and social class, new emergent types of inequalities are developing rapidly: spatial segregation, residence status (native-born or immigrant) (Barnes, J. (2007). Down our way: The relevance of neighbourhoods for parenting and child development. Chichester: Wiley. ISBN 9780470030721; Lareau, A. (2014). Schools, housing and the reproduction of inequality. In A. Lareau & K. A. Goyette (Eds.), Choosing homes, choosing schools (pp. 169–206). New York: Russell Sage Foundation; Lareau, A. (2015). Cultural knowledge and social inequality. American Sociological Review 2015, 80(1), 1–27. doi:10.117/0003122414565814); and the digital divide (Bynner, J., & Heinz, W. R. (2021). Youth prospects in the digital society: Identities and inequalities in an unravelling Europe. Bristol: Policy Press; Melhuish, E. (2019). House of commons education committee (2019). Tackling disadvantage in the early years. London: HMSO. Tackling disadvantage in the early years (parliament.uk)). The use of in-depth evidence about the nature and variations in experiences of inequalities by individuals, families, communities within and across European countries is an effective way to provide up-to-date insights into evolving inequalities and the social problems that arise. This paper shifts the focus of the debate about the changing nature of inequalities in modern societies by drawing upon qualitative and mixed methods advances in studying socially disadvantaged groups. Their chances to integrate into society through the educational channels are not likely to be fully achieved without significant change in the current social environment and re-organisation of education systems. The paper draws its conclusions based on recent research and analytical reports with a focus on Europe.
... Children are highly valued 'collective goods' and generate utility to parents, and so parents make long-term investments in the wellbeing of their children. During childhood and youth, parental investments pertain to multiple domains, such as health and nutrition, education and learning, and acquisition of non-cognitive skills, social networks and social capital (Cheadle, 2009;Grusky, 2019;Kornrich & Furstenberg, 2013;Lareau, 2003). When given the opportunity, parents strive to advantage their offspring over other children in a variety of ways-for example, through the aforementioned investment types, along with information provision, day-to-day role modelling and active parenting engagement (Erola, Jalonen, & Lehti, 2016;Fishkin, 2013). ...
Article
Social-science scholarship has established that high socio-economic status parents make greater investments in their children, contributing to inequalities in child outcomes. Yet we know comparatively little about whether or not—and if so how—these parents continue to advantage their offspring throughout their adult lives. In this paper, we use a life-course approach to theorize the dynamics of parental financial transfers over children’s adult life courses, and how these may differ by socio-economic background. We then leverage high-quality Australian survey data (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey 2001-2018; n = 108,905 observations and 18,611 individuals) and generalized structural equation models for panel data to test the theoretical predictions. We found that adult children from higher socio-economic backgrounds received more transfers and larger amounts than adult children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, with differences being most pronounced during young adulthood. Importantly, these differences emerged in models adjusted for a range of variables capturing adult children’s socio-economic circumstances, including their income levels. Additional analyses indicated that adult children’s life-course events and transitions (e.g., getting married, entering home-ownership, and attending college) increased the probability and amount of parental financial transfers; yet there were no differences in their effects by socio-economic background.
... Ten years later, Lee and Kao (2009) find that participation in cultural capital generating activities tends to have a more positive effect on white children's reading scores than it does for immigrant or minoritized children's scores. Several studies focusing on parental practices have also found that they vary based on racial group membership, not just social class (Bodovski, 2010;Cheadle, 2008Cheadle, , 2009). These studies reveal the limitations of the cultural capital framework in accounting for racial differences in schooling or parental socialization into high status signals and orientations. ...
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Sociologists of education frequently draw on the cultural capital framework to explore the ways in which educational institutions perpetuate inequality in schools and the larger society. However, these studies adhere to a white centered “class‐based master‐narrative,” to legitimize and perpetuate the assumption that racial differences are secondary manifestations of class‐based structures. The class‐based master‐narrative elevates a one‐dimensional view of inequality as rooted primarily in class‐based stratification and downplays the fact that the economic elites who inhabit these dominant social positions are predominantly white. In this essay, I propose a race‐conscious framework to challenge the colorblind assumptions and deficit perspectives inherent to the cultural capital framework. The race‐conscious model (a) focuses on how racial stratification impacts the cultivation, transmission, and activation of cultural capital on the individual and institutional levels and (b) highlights the harmful impact of the lack of racial literacy that is inherent to the white habitus.
... Lareau ([2003], 2011) in particular found that parenting practices were associated with child behavior and cognitive achievement. Several studies have found that the relationship between income and cognitive skills is partially mediated by habitus, often measured as the child's career or college aspirations (Bodovski and Farkas 2008, Dumais 2002, Gaddis 2013, Irwin and Elley 2011 or as parenting practices measured with indices (Redford, Johnson and Honnold 2009), latent constructs (Cheadle 2008, Cheadle 2009, Cheadle and Amato 2011, or independent constructs of individual parenting practices (e.g., warmth and cognitive stimulation) (Guo and Harris 2000). ...
Thesis
This dissertation demonstrates how parent distress, parenting practices, and early child care are major mechanisms through which family income is associated with child cognitive and behavior development. Specifically, higher income may ease parents’ stress from financial worries, enable investment and involvement in children’s enrichment, and allow access to high-quality child care services, improving subsequent child outcomes. In Chapter 2, “Income and Child Outcomes: Testing a Model of Parent Distress and Parenting Practices as Mediators”, I employ structural equation modeling with data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Survey. Results show that parenting practices and parent distress mediate relationships between family income and child cognitive achievement and behavior problems five years later. In Chapter 3, “Tweens to Teens: Testing a Model of Income Change and Changes in Child Outcomes during Adolescence”, I build on the findings of Chapter 2 by using fixed-effects models with data from the Child Development Survey. Results show that five-year changes in single-year household income are associated with concurrent changes in parent distress and parenting practices, but only among middle-income households. However, changes in parent distress and parenting practices are related to changes in child cognitive achievement and behavior problems for all children, regardless of whether they experienced changes in income. Chapter 4, “Effects of Early Childhood Care Type on Cognitive Achievement and Behavior Problems”, examines the use and effects of non-parental child care using data from the Fragile Families Child Health and Wellbeing Study. High-quality center-based child care is often more accessible to advantaged families than to disadvantaged families, so conventionally estimated effects of care can be upwardly biased by this selection process. Yet even adjusting for this selection of more advantaged children into center-based care using inverse propensity weights, its use is associated with higher child cognitive achievement five years later, relative to care exclusively from parents. In sum, I find that family income is related to child outcomes. However, income’s effects are largely mediated by other variables, namely parent distress, parenting practices, and quality of child care obtained by parents.
... SES is defined as a variable composed by family's income, parent's education, and occupation. Research shows that SES mediates children development through various aspects such as educational resources and beliefs, vocabulary, and the parents' stress levels (Blair & Raver, 2012; Center on the Developing Child, 2016; Cheadle, 2009;Hart & Risley, 2003). There is ample evidence of the influence of SES on both cognitive development and academic achievement (Duncan et al., 1998;Herbers et al., 2012;Rosas & Santa Cruz, 2013). ...
Article
There is resounding evidence of the existence of direct precursors of written language, most specifically phonological awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and oral comprehension. The initial differences identified in the development of written language precursors are directly related to subsequent students’ academic trajectories. Socioeconomic status is a significant source of initial differences in performance, with discrepancies in the development of reading precursors favoring children from more affluent backgrounds. We assessed reading precursors in 176 Chilean children from different socioeconomic levels. Significant differences in performance were found, which tended to favor the higher socioeconomic groups for each precursor we tested. However, the developmental trajectories of skills were similar for phonological awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and oral comprehension. A compensatory trajectory was observed only in the case of rapid naming. The problem arises from the need for educational systems to adapt to the specific needs of their students, in order to generate compensatory trajectories in all reading precursor skills and enable a decrease in the gaps in reading performance among children from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
... The study of family social capital has historically focused on Western contexts, especially the United States (e.g., Calarco 2014;Cheadle 2009;Coleman 1988;Lareau 2002;Portes 1998). Family social capital could be important in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well, where opportunities for upward social mobility are varied. ...
Article
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Non-parental family members are understudied but important brokers of family social capital, especially in contexts without a nuclear-family norm. We used rich time diary data from a sample of 1568 South Indian adolescents to examine the relationships between any time spent with parents, parents’ residency status, and the time spent with non-parental family members. We found that adolescents with at least one non-resident parent spent significantly more time with siblings, on average, when compared to adolescents with resident parents. We further found that adolescents spent more time with siblings in educational activities, such as studying, when they had at least one non-resident parent. These findings point to the importance of considering non-parental family members in studies of family social capital, especially in low- and middle-income contexts. Our findings challenge resource dilution theories by demonstrating that siblings themselves act as resources, rather than simply competitors for parental resources.
... Previous research has rarely questioned if the core dimensions of parenting strategies described by Lareau are indeed Concerted Cultivation in Early Childhood and Social Inequalities in Cognitive Skills the most salient parenting dimensions that differ between social classes and lead in turn to differences in children's development. To our knowledge, most previous research has either examined concerted cultivation with a combined measure of all three or four dimensions (Bodovski & Farkas, 2008;Cheadle, 2009;Cheadle & Amato, 2011;Redford, Johnson, & Honnold, 2009), or has focused on single dimensions of concerted cultivation such as children's enrollment in organized leisure (Coulangeon, 2018;Dumais, 2006). Moreover, few researchers have explored to what extent Lareau's theoretical concepts can be applied to the context of early childhood. ...
Article
Full-text available
According to Lareau’s (2003) concept of concerted cultivation, upper and middle-class parents aim more systematically to promote their children’s skills in various ways in comparison with lower class parents. These differences in parenting, are assumed to affect children’s skill development. Whereas Lareau developed her concept for families with elementary school children, and much of the subsequent literature has focused on this age group or older, we argue that concerted cultivation is likely to be visible already during early childhood. Therefore, we investigated if participation in organized leisure activities and parents’ promotion of cognitive stimulation during early childhood—as two indicators of concerted cultivation—explain later differences in cognitive skills. We furthermore examined if concerted cultivation mediates the association between social background and cognitive skills of children. We drew on longitudinal data from 1,632 children in the Starting Cohort 2 of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). We show that parents with high socio-economic status are more likely to enroll their 5-year-old children in organized leisure activities and to read to them daily. Results from lagged dependent variable regressions indicate that only enrollment in music mediates the relationship between parental socio-economic status and children’s skill development in math and reasoning. Our study highlights the prevalence of concerted cultivation as a parenting style of the German middle-class already during early childhood. Nevertheless, it only moderately contributes to children’s cognitive skill development. Our mediation analysis showed that only music participation explained a modest portion of the background-specific differences in math and reasoning skills.
Article
Recent research suggests that participation in organized extracurricular activities by children and adolescents can have educational and occupational payoffs. This research also establishes that participation is strongly associated with social class. However, debate has ensued—primarily among qualitative researchers—over whether the association between class and activities stems exclusively from inequalities in objective resources and constraints or whether differing cultural orientations have a role. We address this debate using a nationally representative sample of children's time diaries, merged with extensive information on their families, to model participation in, and expenditures on, organized activities. While we cannot directly observe cultural orientations, we account for a substantially wider array of resources and constraints than previous studies. We find that, above and beyond these factors, maternal education has a consistently large effect on the outcomes we study. We discuss the plausibility of a cultural interpretation of this result, as well as alternative interpretations.
Article
While studies on effort (e.g., Carbonaro, 2005; Kariya, 2000, 2013) have revealed relationships among students' effort (e.g., self-reported learning time), socioeconomic status, and school-related factors (e.g., tracking) through secondary education data, whether and how the effort gap emerges and widens in the early years of compulsory education have not been researched. This study investigates the beginning of inequality in effort by using four waves (from first- to fourth-grade students) of the Longitudinal Survey of Babies in the 21st Century, collected in Japan. The results indicate that college-educated parents tend to employ parenting practices that directly and indirectly shape children's learning time; inequality in effort exists, and it becomes exacerbated partly because of parenting differences in a society with a relatively equal elementary education system.
Article
Families and governments are the primary sources of investment in children, providing access to basic resources and other developmental opportunities. Recent research identifies significant class gaps in parental investments that contribute to high levels of inequality by family income and education. State-level public investments in children and families have the potential to reduce class inequality in children’s developmental environments by affecting parents’ behavior. Using newly assembled administrative data from 1998 to 2014, linked to household-level data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we examine how public-sector investment in income support, health, and education is associated with the private expenditures of low- and high-SES parents on developmental items for children. Are class gaps in parental investments in children narrower in contexts of higher public investment for children and families? We find that more generous public spending for children and families is associated with significantly narrower class gaps in private parental investments. Furthermore, we find that equalization is driven by bottom-up increases in low-SES households’ developmental spending in response to progressive state investments of income support and health, and by top-down decreases in high-SES households’ developmental spending in response to universal state investment in public education.
Chapter
This essay critically reviews the literature on social class differences in parental investment in children including differences in (i) parenting practices or behavior; (ii) parenting styles, logics, and strategies; and (iii) parenting values and ideologies. The essay reveals how structural and cultural barriers contribute to creating social class differences in the ways parents interact with their children, as well as in the way they protect and promote their children's development and well-being. This essay covers some of the foundational research in the field as well as newer research which has started to question the strict social class divide in parental investment. In particular, this essay discusses recent research on the resistance to the dominant ideology of good parenting, and studies of the complex interactions between social class, race and ethnicity, and gender. This essay concludes with a discussion of future research avenues including a call for a better empirical operationalization of the concept of parental investment. Keywords: parental investment; childrearing; parenting; social class; concerted cultivation
Book
"So where does something like practical intelligence come from?...Perhaps the best explanation we have of this process comes from the sociologist Annette Lareau, who...conducted a fascinating study of a group of third graders. You might expect that if you spent such an extended period in twelve different households, what you would gather is twelve different ideas about how to raise children...What Lareau found, however, is something much different." --Malcolm Gladwell, "Outliers: The Story of Success" "Less than one in five Americans think 'race, gender, religion or social class are very important for getting ahead in life, ' Annette Lareau tells us in her carefully researched and clearly written new book. But as she brilliantly shows, everything from looking authority figures in the eye when you shake their hands to spending long periods in a shared space and squabbling with siblings is related to social class. This is one of the most penetrating works I have read on a topic that only grows in importance as the class gap in America widens."--Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of "The Time Bind" and "The Commercialization of Intimate Life" "This is a great book, not only because of its powerful portrayal of class inequalities in the United States and its insightful analysis of the processes through which inequality is reproduced, but also because of its frank engagement with methodological and analytic dilemmas usually glossed over in academic texts. Hardly any other studies have the rich, intensive ethnographic focus on family of "Unequal Childhoods."" --Diane Reay, "American Journal of Sociology" "Lareau does sociology and lay readers alike an important service in her engaging book, "Unequal Childhoods," by showing us exactly what kinds of knowledge, upbringing, skills, and bureaucratic savvy are involved in this idea, and how powerfully inequality in this realm perpetuates economic inequality. Through textured and intimate observation, Lareau takes us into separate worlds of pampered but overextended, middle-class families and materially stressed, but relatively relaxed, working-class and poor families to show how inequality is passed on across generations." --Katherine Newman, "Contexts" "Sociology at its best. In this major study, Lareau provides the tools to make sense of the frenzied middle-class obsession with their offspring's extracurricular activities; the similarities between black and white professionals; and the paths on which poor and working class kids are put by their circumstances. This book will help generations of students understand that organized soccer and pick-up basketball have everything to do with the inequality of life chances."--Michele Lamont, author of "The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration" "Drawing upon remarkably detailed case studies of parents and children going about their daily lives, Lareau argues that middle-class and working-class families operate with different logics of childrearing, which both reflect and contribute to the transmission of inequality. An important and provocative book."--Barrie Thorne, author of "Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School" "With rich storytelling and insightful detail, Lareau takes us inside the family lives of poor, middle-class, and affluent Americans and reminds us that class matters. "Unequal Childhoods" thoughtfully demonstrates that class differences in cultural resources, played out in the daily routines of parenting, can have a powerful impact on children's chances for climbing the class ladder and achieving the American dream. This provocative and often disturbing book will shape debates on the U.S. class system for decades to come."--Sharon Hays, author of "Flat Broke with Children" "Drawing on intimate knowledge of kids and families studied at school and at home, Lareau examines the social changes that have turned childhood into an extended production process for many middle-class American families. Her depiction of this new world of childhood--and her comparison of the middle-class ideal of systematic cultivation to the more naturalistic approach to child development to which many working-class parents still adhere--maps a critically important dimension of American family life and raises challenging questions for parents and policy makers."--Paul DiMaggio, Professor of Sociology, Princeton University "Annette Lareau has written another classic. Her deep insights about the social stratification of family life and childrearing have profound implications for understanding inequality -- and for understanding the daily struggles of everyone attempting to raise children in America. Lareau's findings have great force because they are thoroughly grounded in compelling ethnographic evidence."--Adam Gamoran, Professor of Sociology and Educational Policy Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison "With the poignant details of daily life assembled in a rigorous comparative design, Annette Lareau has produced a highly ambitious ethnographic study that reveals how social class makes a difference in children's lives. "Unequal Childhoods" will be read alongside Sewell and Hauser, Melvin Kohn, and Bourdieu. It is an important step forward in the study of social stratification and family life, and a valuable exemplar for comparative ethnographic work."--Mitchell Duneier, author of "Sidewalk and Slim's Table"
Article
Recent work on the transmission of educational advantage has shifted empirical attention toward the active role of parents and their parenting style. Drawing from cultural capital theory and using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) (N = 512), this study examines how a specific style of parenting, concerted cultivation, and educational expectations relate to adolescents' academic achievement. Results from a recursive structural equation model (SEM) confirm a direct relationship between educational expectations and achievement, but not for concerted cultivation. However, subsequent analyses indicate that educational expectations also mediate the relationship between a child's social background and academic achievement. These results provide insights into the family's role in the transmission of educational advantage and contribute to the larger public and scholarly debate regarding explanations for the stratification of educational outcomes.
Article
PARENT INVOLVEMENT IN FAMILY-SCHOOL partnerships is widely accepted as supporting improved student outcomes. International research indicates that the formation of these partnerships varies across family sociocultural backgrounds, and over time. Analysing longitudinal data, this paper examines patterns of parent involvement in family-school partnerships in the early years of formal schooling in Australia. Similar to experiences in other national contexts, parent involvement in home-, school- and community-based family-school partnership activities reduced as children moved through the school grades. Parent involvement also differed with family socioeconomic and cultural background. The implications of these differences in children's experiences of parent involvement for family-school partnership theory and pedagogical practice are considered.
Article
This paper analyses in a novel way how educational investments can improve human capital formation in Europe, based on a model of age-dependent skill formation featuring dynamic complementarities. Counterfactual investment policies are evaluated with an Atkinson-Sen welfare function. Investments for individuals under the age of eighteen years are traced back to their family and teaching environment, whereas adult individuals optimise their educational investments. The model is calibrated for a population living in 29 European countries. Our findings demonstrate that more educational investments need to be directed at childhood to foster human capital formation across all European countries. Furthermore, if equality is rated high enough in the welfare function, the most disadvantaged people should receive more compensating educational investments during childhood. In a uniform European labour market educational investments yield higher returns in low income countries, since the transformation of human capital to income is improved.
Article
Researchers have sought to understand why cognitive skill disparities between black and white children persist in American society, but the most thorough examinations study school-aged children during a period when the black/white skill gap is already well established. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth Cohort of 2001, we find trivial black/white differences in cognitive skills at 10 months of age but large disparities at 24 and 48 months, suggesting that the gap emerges in force between 10 months and age four. Although black/white differences in parenting are a powerful predictor, these variations are driven by socioeconomic and related factors that directly and indirectly shape cognitive development gaps between black and white children.
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have been focused on the analysis of the factors that affect the school performance. It has been found that social, economic and environmental factors have an important role in determining the educational achievement, and that individual caracteristics and family background affect the school performance more than school characteristics. The spatial statistical analysis has been used by many researchers to study educational achievement. Principally, these studies concentrated their attention on the relationship between school performance and socio-economic variables of the catchment areas from the spatial perspective, by using Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR). The aim of this study is to investigate which individual characteristics may affect test scores in English Reading and Listening and which local characteristics of the catchment areas influence students’ achievement in these tasks.The data we used come from the National INVALSI Assessment of 8th grade for the 2018/2019 academic year and includes results of the standardized test in English Reading and Listening. Firstly, through the simple correlation analysis, we defined the individual and local characteristics that were then used as the explanatory variables in our analysis. Secondly, the simple Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression was used to analyze the relation of students’ performance in both tasks to previously selected characteristics. To verify a presence of positive spatial autocorrelation within the Italian territory, we calculated a widely used spatial statistic Global Moran’s I. It helped us to estimate the strength of spatial correlation, and to test also the significance of the spatial correlation. The positive result of Moran’s I endorsed our intention to include the territorial dimension into our study, and therefore, the GWR was used to model spatially varying relationships between the students’ achievement and the explanatory variables tested with the OLS regression. However, the emphasis here is not so much to determine whether or not exist relationships between school performance and catchment area characteristics, but to determine if there are any interesting spatial variations in these relationships.
Chapter
The highly concerning phenomenon of a widening income–education gap in the USA is addressed by Kalil (Chap. 5). We offer a contextual developmental perspective on the effects of poverty on families, parents, and children. There is little doubt that parenting matters for children’s health and development. However, we argue that analysis of how parenting matters to children’s educational outcomes, and why parenting differs between economic and educational strata, is best conducted once parenting is put into context. In support of this argument, we briefly address three topics. First, we present strong evidence that parenting is a mediating factor in explaining children’s diverging academic destinies. Second, we compare a behavioral economics perspective on parental educational investments in more and less advantaged households to developmentally informed theory and research on the topic. Finally, we consider the utility of a behavioral economics solution to the problem of educational disparities in this country.
Article
In response to various societal changes, schools are increasingly developing an outward orientation, seeking to connect to students’ out-of-school participations. Simultaneously, educational research is starting to adopt a multisystemic approach to learning. Focusing on continuity and discontinuity in students’ learning across school and out-of-school contexts, we synthesize 186 empirical studies. After conceptualizing school and out-of-school in relation to each other, we find that continuity can be the result of different educational intentions, but it also occurs as a given. Discontinuity is mainly found for non-mainstream students, with severe implications for students’ learning and participation in school. Some studies show how different actors, including students, deliberately seek discontinuity, challenging the widespread preference for continuity. We discuss the (im)possibilities for schools in connecting to students’ wider lives and advance the degrees of freedom afforded in school as an underlying condition for establishing continuity.
Article
Background Although there is evidence of economic disparities in parents' financial and time investments in children, little existing empirical work has considered the disparities in authoritarian parenting, a risk for child maltreatment. Similarly, existing research has largely focused on the role of objective markers of socioeconomic status (SES), although perceived subjective social status (SSS) may be equally powerful in shaping disparities in parenting behaviors. Data This article draws on 30 years of General Social Survey data to examine the association between objective socioeconomic status and subjective social status and parents' endorsement of authoritarian parenting practices. Methods We model the association between parents' SES and SSS and approval of authoritarian parenting practices estimated with odds ratios from logistic regressions and examine parental race as a potential moderator. Results We find that SES and SSS are both associated with increased odds of endorsing authoritarian parenting, that SSS-based disparities are independent of SES, and that white parents' parenting may be more influenced by both SES and SSS than Black parents' parenting. Conclusions This work provides evidence that SES not only drives gaps in parental investments in children, but also gaps in their endorsement of authoritarian parenting. This is important because authoritarian parenting is not only directly associated with adverse outcomes for children, but is also associated with an increased risk for child maltreatment. It also expands the existing literature by showing that subjective measures of social status are important and distinct from objective measures of SES, and that these associations vary by race.
Article
Socioeconomic status (SES) differences in parenting are often implicated in widening the SES-achievement gap. Using nationally representative data (N = 12,887), the author tested for variation across SES in the types and intensity of parenting behaviors utilized and then examined SES differences in the relationship between parenting and student achievement growth from kindergarten to Grade 8. Exploratory factor analysis identifies three dimensions of early parenting: Educational engagement, stimulating parent–child interaction, and discursive discipline. Regression results indicate that all three are used most heavily by high-SES families. However, only educational engagement consistently predicts achievement growth. Surprisingly, it is positively associated with achievement for lower-, but not higher-SES students in Grades 1–8. Further, educational engagement is beneficial for low-SES children because it is particularly beneficial for low-achieving students, consistent with a compensatory hypothesis.
Article
Previous research suggests higher levels of education instill a greater sense of internal control that promotes health in adulthood. We propose that the sense of control has its origins in early childhood and that prior research has possibly misattributed a mediational role to sense of control in adulthood. Using a conceptual framework that includes these early influences, we employ data from the 1970 British Cohort Study (N = 9,855), examining the extent to which the association between education and adult health is spurious due to these early childhood factors. We find that the internal sense of control as assessed in childhood and adolescence has profound influences on both education and health in early adulthood and that a substantial portion of the latter association is spurious. We conclude that the sense of control is an important health-related factor originating early in life, influencing both health and education later in adulthood.
Article
In Japan, many children participate in organized, adult-led educational activities outside the school system. As sociological studies consistently indicate that children with higher household income and highly educated parents are more likely to enroll in such activities, there are educational opportunity gaps outside of school hours. Despite the importance of understanding the inequality of learning opportunities, previous studies have relied only on cross-sectional data and have not clarified whether parents invest differently in such activities depending on their socioeconomic status when their children become older. In addition, the literature has not assessed the impact of changes in economic capital, which is at the root of the forms of capital (i.e., economic, cultural, and social) that individuals strategically employ. Thus, to determine the role of economic capital in children’s participation in organized activities outside school, this study investigates (1) whether the strength of the relationship between children’s school age and their participation varies according to household income and parental educational backgrounds and (2) whether changes in household income are related to changes in organized activity participation. Specifically, this study uses three waves of data (ages 4.5, 7 , and 10, belonging to kindergarten or nursely school, first grade, and fourth grade, respectively) from the Longitudinal Survey of Babies in the 21st Century, conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The primary dependent variable in this analysis is the number of types of organized activities (e.g., academic lessons, music, and swimming) in which children participated at each wave. This variable represents one aspect of “concerted cultivation” (Lareau 2003, 2011): a cultural logic demonstrated by middle-class parents, who tend to organize their children’s lives so as to cultivate talents and encourage skill development. As a supplemental means of analysis, the amount of money spent on raising a child (including fees for organized activities) was also examined. Results derived from a hybrid fixed-effects model empirically highlighted the important role of household income in the unequal distribution of learning opportunities outside the school system. Firstly, children with higher household income are more likely to enroll in a larger number of types of outside-school activities when other factors are held constant. Secondly, a random slope of time on the outcome significantly varies, and annual household income and parental educational backgrounds partly explain this variation. Finally, when controlling for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity, changes in household income are, albeit modestly, associated with changes in the number of types of extracurricular activities. This result is also obtained when expenses are assessed as the dependent variable. These empirical results indicate that, when a child becomes older, parents with higher levels of income and education tend to leverage their economic capital to provide a larger number of types of organized educational opportunities for their child. Additionally, the findings imply the importance of parents’ economic capital in determining the extent of learning opportunities to which a child is exposed outside the school system. In conclusion, this study empirically demonstrates the importance of economic capital that enables parents to practice “concerted cultivation,” presumably to cultivate the child’s talents and skills.
Article
This article examines the relationship between parental networks and parental school involvement during the elementary school years. Using a large, nationally representative data set of elementary school students—the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort—and contextual data from the 2000 U.S. Census, our multilevel analysis shows that higher levels of parental networks in first grade are associated with higher levels of parental school involvement in third grade after controlling for individual- and school-level characteristics. Parental networks are positively related to school involvement activities in formal organizations that consist of parents, teachers, and school staff, including participating in parent–teacher organizations and volunteering at school. Furthermore, the positive effects of parental networks on parental school involvement is stronger for families whose children attend schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This suggests that well-connected parental networks can serve as a buffer against school neighborhood disadvantages in encouraging parents to be actively involved in schools.
Article
Using structural equation modeling on a nationally representative sample of Chinese middle school students in the China Education Panel Survey, this study examines whether the three dimensions of socioeconomic status (SES, i.e., economic status, parental education, and occupational status) are related to adolescent outcomes via different parental investment pathways, as hypothesized by the family investment model (FIM). There were two main findings. First, we found that all three components of SES significantly predicted various domains of family investments and adolescent outcomes. Second, material investments mediated the effects of SES on adolescents’ cognitive ability and behavioral problems, whereas both time investment and neighborhood quality mediated the effects of SES on adolescents’ psychological well-being and behavioral issues. Those findings expand our understanding of the effects of SES when applying the FIM and advance our knowledge of the FIM by identifying the specific mediating mechanisms that may account for family–child linkages.
Article
Most scholars, parents, and educators agree that parental involvement is beneficial for children’s academic and developmental outcomes. However, a small but growing body of scholarship suggests that intensive parental involvement may potentially hinder children’s development. In this study, we examine the “more is less” assumption in parental involvement research and formally test the argument of parental overinvolvement. Using nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K), we examine whether high levels of involvement are associated with unintended negative child development in elementary school. Analyses based on curvilinear mixed effects models show that elevated parental expectations, intensive participation in extracurricular activities, and increased parental school involvement are associated with diminishing returns to children’s outcomes. The most meaningful parental overinvolvement pattern is found for internalizing problems. These patterns are generally consistent for children from all socioeconomic levels. We conclude with a discussion of the research and policy implications of these findings.
Research
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Article
Extracurricular activities (EAs) are thought to foster the development of a host of non-cognitive skills—persistence, communication, and collaboration, among others—that are presumed to facilitate children’s school success. While this logic is intuitively appealing, there have been few formal tests of this idea. This study tests this logic using panel data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (N = 10,422) to assess the extent to which children’s involvement in EAs influences the development of their non-cognitive skills and ultimately their achievement growth from the beginning of kindergarten to the end of first grade. Results from structural equation models indicate that increased EA participation is associated with gains in reading and math achievement, but the evidence provides little support for the claim that these associations are mediated by children’s non-cognitive skills. Implications for policy makers and school and community-based practitioners are discussed.
Article
Parents often play complex and highly variable roles in the lives of grown-up lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people. Some act as support sources, helping their offspring buffer societal discrimination. Others are unaccepting of—or ambivalent about—their children’s sexual orientation, becoming further stressors. In practice, little research has examined whether parents treat adult LGB children differently than heterosexual children. This study tests this premise in relation to parental financial transfers using two waves of panel data from an Australian national sample (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, n = 18,448 observations) and random-effect panel regression models. We find that parents send money more often to LGB than heterosexual children, a pattern that persists over the adult life course. This association could not be explained by adult children’s socio-economic disadvantage, fertility intentions, parent-child contact, or parent-child distance. These findings suggest that, all else being equal, parental financial investments contribute to narrowing the social disadvantage experienced by Australian LGB people.
Article
Structural equation modelling (SEM) with longitudinal survey data was used to test a proposed developmental model of the association of family income (with children aged 6–9) to parent behaviours (for children at 10 years of age) and adolescent cognitive achievement and behaviour problems (at age 15). Data from the Child Development Supplement and Panel Study of Income Dynamics provided a representative US sample (n = 953). The SEM measurement model of parent behaviours showed two robust latent variables representing parent distress (based on two measures) and parent support (composed of four measures of parent investment, cognitive stimulation, emotional warmth, and educational expectations for the child). The SEM structural model indicated that the relation between average family income between 1998 and 2001 for young children (ages 6–9) and adolescent cognitive achievement and behaviour problems in 2007 (age 15) was almost entirely mediated by parent distress, parent support, and material hardship, all measured in 2002. Results suggested that the structural model was strongest (RMSEA = 0.08) when all three mediating variables were included. These results provide a clearer picture of the developmental mechanisms by which family income becomes associated with adolescent cognitive achievement and behaviour problems over time.
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We examine differences in intelligence test scores of black and white 5-year-olds. The Infant Health and Development Program data set includes 483 low birthweight premature children who were assessed with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. These children had been followed from birth, with data on neighborhood and family poverty, family structure, family resources, maternal characteristics, and home environment collected over the first 5 years of life. Black children's IQ scores were 1 SD lower than those of white children. Adjustments for ethnic differences in poverty reduced the ethnic differential by 52%. Adjustments for maternal education and whether the head of household was female did not reduce the ethnic difference further. However, differences in home environment reduced the ethnic differential by an additional 28%. Adjustments for economic and social differences in the lives of black and white children all but eliminate differences in the IQ scores between these two groups.
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Although the inverse relationship between the number of siblings and children's educational performance has been well established, explanations for this relationship remain primitive. One explanation, resource dilution, posits that parents have finite levels of resources (time, energy, money, etc.) and that these resources are diluted among children as sibship size increases. I provide a more rigorous investigation of the dilution model than previous studies, testing its implications with a sample of 24,599 eighth graders from the 1988 National Education Longitudinal Study. My analyses support the resource dilution model in three ways. First, the availability of parental resources decreases as the number of siblings increases, net of controls. The functional form of this relationship is not always linear, however, and depends on whether the resource is interpersonal or economic. Second, parental resources explain most or all of the inverse relationship between sibship size and educational outcomes. Finally, interactions between sibship size and parental resources support the dilution model as children benefit less from certain parental resources when they have many versus few siblings.
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The finding that children of different racial groups and socioeconomic backgrounds begin their formal educational careers with disparities in skills on standardized tests (e.g., Lee and Burkam 2002) and that these inequalities persist through pri-mary and secondary school (Phillips, Crouse, and Ralph 1998) is well established. Although parent-ing practices play an important role in the develop-ment of differences in early childhood achievement (Guo 1998; J. R. Smith, Brooks-Gunn, and Kle-banov 1997), less is known about the role that fam-ilies play in disparities in achievement once chil-dren enter elementary school. In her ethnographic study, Lareau (2002, 2003) reported pronounced so-cial-class differences in the ways parents organize their children's lives around adult-orchestrated lei-sure activities, interact with teachers and the edu-cational system, and verbally and academically en-gage their children. According to Lareau (2003), different ways of organizing their children and their own lives along these dimensions reflect con-trasting parental investments in children's educa-tional growth, which ultimately has important con-sequences for the skills and abilities that children develop. Lareau's research is part of an older tradition that has noted meaningful variation in class-based parenting strategies (e.g., Kohn 1977) and provides an important avenue for the operationalization of parents' patterns of educational investment. In-deed, although Lareau (1989) was critical of the of-ten narrow foci of quantitative research, her most Published in Sociology of Education 81:1 (January 2008), pp. 1–31; doi: 10.1177/003804070808100101 Published by Sage Publications for the American Sociological Association. Used by permission.
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How much formal schooling for their children do immigrant Latino parents aspire to and expect? Do parents' aspirations or expectations influence children's school achievement? Do aspirations or expectations diminish the longer parents are in the U.S. or if they experience discrimination? Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we address these questions in a longitudinal study (kindergarten to sixth grade) of 81 Latino children and their immigrant parents. We find that (a) parents' educational aspirations are high and invariant throughout the elementary years; however, expectations fluctuate; (b) children's school performance influences parents' expectations, but expectations do not influence performance; and (c) immigrant Latino parents attribute high instrumental value to formal schooling, and neither time spent in the U.S. nor perceived discrimination diminishes this belief.
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Prior research has demonstrated that summer learning rooted in family and community influences widens the achievement gap across social lines, while schooling offsets those family and community influences. In this article, we examine the long-term educational consequences of summer learning differences by family socioeconomic level. Using data from the Baltimore Beginning School Study youth panel, we decompose achievement scores at the start of high school into their developmental precursors, back to the time of school entry in 1st grade. We find that cumulative achievement gains over the first nine years of children's schooling mainly reflect school-year learning, whereas the high SES-low SES achievement gap at 9th grade mainly traces to differential summer learning over the elementary years. These early out-of-school summer learning differences, in turn, substantially account for achievement-related differences by family SES in high school track placements (college preparatory or not), high school noncompletion, and four-year college attendance. We discuss implications for understanding the bases of educational stratification, as well as educational policy and practice.
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Are there socioeconomic differences in the seasonality of children’s learning over the school year and summer months? The achievement gap across social lines increases during the primary grades, as much research indicates, but descriptive analyses and HLM within-person growth models for a representative panel of Baltimore school children demonstrate that the increase can be traced mainly to the out-of-school environment (i.e., influences situated in home and community). School-year verbal and quantitative achievement gains are comparable for upper socioeconomic status (SES) and lower SES children, but summer gains, when children are out of school, evidence large disparities. During the summer, upper SES children’s skills continue to advance (albeit at a slower rate than during the school year), but lower SES children’s gains, on average, are flat. This seasonal pattern of achievement gains implies that schooling plays an important compensatory role, one that is obscured when achievement is compared on an annual basis, as is typical. Policy implications of the seasonality of learning are discussed, including support for preventive measures over the preschool years and for programs, possibly including calendar reforms and summer school, to support disadvantaged children’s learning year-round.
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Children in immigrant families account for nearly one-in-four children in the U.S. They are the fastest grow- ing population of children, and they are leading the nation's racial and ethnic transformation. As a consequence, baby-boomers will depend heavily for economic support during retirement on race-ethnic minorities, many of whom grew up in immigrant families. Because the current circumstances and future prospects of children in immi- grant families are important not only to these children themselves, but to all Americans, this report uses data from Census 2000 to portray the lives of children with immigrant parents and highlights policy and program initiatives that will foster the future success of these children. This report begins by discussing the diverse origins and destinations of children in immigrant families. It then highlights substantial evidence that children in immigrant families have deep roots in the U.S. refl ected in their own citizenship, as well as their parents' citizenship and length of residence in this country, their own and their parents' English fl uency, and their family commitment to homeownership. Based on a new alternative to the offi cial poverty measure, the report continues by discussing economic challenges confronted by many immigrant families. It also portrays additional immigrant strengths and challenges associated with family composition, pa- rental education and employment, and access for children of immigrants to early education and the later years of schooling. Looking toward fostering a successful future for these children, the report identifi es promising policy and programmatic initiatives for language and literacy training, and for assuring access to education, health, and other essential services, and it identifi es immigrant-related questions that should be asked in all research studies involving children and families.
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The indicators of parental involvement in children's education vary considerably across studies, most of which treat parental involvement as a unidimensional construct. This study identified four dimensions of parental involvement and assessed the relationship of each dimension with parental background and academic achievement for a large representative sample of U.S. middle school students. The findings provide little support for the conjecture that parents with low socioeco- nomic status are less involved in their children's schooling than are parents with higher socioeconomic status. Furthermore, although schools varied somewhat in parental involvement associated with volunteering and attendance at meetings of parent-teache r organizations, they did not va'y substantially in levels of involvement associated with home supervision, discussion of school-related activities, or parent-teache r communication. Yet the discussion of school-related activities at home had the strongest relationship with academic achievement. Parents' participation at school had a moderate effect on reading achievement, but a negligible effect on mathematics achievement.
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This study examined the level and impact offive types ofparent involvement on elementary school children's academic achievement by race/ethnicity, poverty, andparent educational attainment. The sample comprised 415 third through fifth graders who completed the Elementary School Success Profile. Hypotheses from Bourdieu's theory of cultural capital were assessed with t tests, chi-square statistics, and hierarchical regressions. Consistent with the theory, parents with different demographic characteristics exhibited different types of involvement, and the types of involvement exhibited by parents from dominant groups had the strongest association with achievement. However, contrary to theoretical expectations, members of dominant and nondomi- nant groups benefited similarly from certain types of involvement and dif- ferently from others. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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How does schooling affect inequality in cognitive skills? Reproductionist theorists have argued that schooling plays an important role in reproducing and even exacerbating existing disparities. But seasonal comparison research has shown that gaps in reading and math skills grow primarily during summer vacation, suggesting that non-school factors (e.g., family and neighborhood) are the main source of inequality. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort of 1998-99, this article improves upon past seasonal estimates of school and non-school effects on cognitive skill gains. Like past research, this study considers how socioeconomic and racial/ethnic gaps in skills change when school is in session versus when it is not. This study goes beyond past research, however, by examining the considerable inequality in learning that is not associated with socioeconomic status and race. This "unexplained" inequality is more than 90 percent of the total inequality in learning rates, and it is much smaller during school than during summer. The results suggest, therefore, that schools serve as important equalizers: nearly every gap grows faster during summer than during school. The black/white gap, however represents a conspicuous exception.
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Although measures of the home environment have gained wide acceptance in the child development literature, what constitutes the “average” or “typical” home environment in the United States, and how this differs across ethnic groups and poverty status is not known. Item-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth on four age-related versions of the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment–Short Form (HOME-SF) from five biennial assessments (1986–1994) were analyzed for the total sample and for four major ethnic groups: European Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans. The percentages of homes receiving credit on each item of all four versions of the HOME-SF are described. For the majority of items at all four age levels differences between poor and nonpoor families were noted. Differences were also obtained among African American, European American, and Hispanic American families, but the magnitude of the effect for poverty status was greater than for ethnicity, and usually absorbed most of the ethnic group effects on HOME-SF items. For every item at every age, the effects of poverty were proportional across European American, African American, and Hispanic American groups.
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Data from the Children of the NLSY79 (CNLSY) are pooled together across survey waves, 1986–2000, to provide an unusually large sample size, as well as two or more observations at different time points for many children, recorded at single months of age between 36 and 156 months. We fit a variety of multilevel growth models to these data. We find that by 36 months of age, large net social class and Black–White vocabulary knowledge gaps have already emerged. By 60 months of age, when kindergarten typically begins, the Black–White vocabulary gap approximates the level it maintains through to 13 years of age. Net social class differences are also large at 36 months. For whites, these cease widening thereafter. For Blacks, they widen until 60 months of age, and then cease widening. We view these vocabulary differences as achieved outcomes, and find that they are only very partially explained by measures of the mother's vocabulary knowledge and home cognitive support. We conclude that stratification studies as well as program interventions should focus increased effort on caregiver behaviors that stimulate oral language development from birth through age three, when class and race gaps in vocabulary knowledge emerge and take on values close to their final forms.
Article
Studies of the effects of cultural capital on the educational success of male and female students have reached contradictory conclusions, and few studies have considered the role that habitus plays in educational outcomes. This article analyzes the cultural participation of eighth-grade boys and girls and presents a model that includes a measure for habitus. Through a detailed analysis of cultural practices that have typically been grouped together as a single scale, the author found that female and higher-SES students are more likely to participate in cultural activities. In addition, in both standard ordinary least squares and fixed school-effects models, she found that cultural capital has a positive, significant effect on the grades of female students, both with and without controlling for Bourdieu's notion of habitus. For male students, the effect is weaker and present only in the fixed-effects models. Habitus itself has a strong effect for both male and female students in all models. The author argues that traditional gender stereotypes play a role in the lack of cultural participation by male students and that female students may be more encouraged to make use of their cultural capital to succeed in school.
Article
Is childhood such a critical period that, by the end of this period, cumulative poverty would have exerted maximum effect on children's cognitive outcomes? Or are cognitive outcomes more a function of the length of exposure to poverty regardless of the life stage in which the child is exposed to poverty? The NLSY, which measures each child's cognitive development repeatedly over time, was analyzed to answer these questions. We distinguish between ability and achievement. Ability is a more stable trait than achievement and tends to be determined by both environmental and genetic factors early in life. Achievement on the other hand is more acquired. This study shows that long-term poverty has substantial influences on both ability and achievement, but the time patterns of these influences are distinctly different. Childhood appears to be a much more crucial period for the development of cognitive ability than early adolescence. In contrast, poverty experienced in adolescence appears to be more influential to adolescent achievement than poverty experienced earlier in life.
Article
Gender differences in most cognitive skills are fading, but a gender gap remains in secondary school that favors males in higher level math skills. This gap is not evident in elementary school where test scores for the two sexes are equivalent. However, the daily experiences of young boys and girls differ in ways that could affect their math skills in early adolescence. In a large random sample of youngsters in Baltimore, over their first two years of school, boys' gains in math reasoning achievement were more sensitive to resources outside the home than were girls'. In line with the greater responsiveness of boys' math skills to these neighborhood resources, the boys' math reasoning scores became significantly more variable over time than did the girls'. When differentiated course programs became available in middle school, this greater variability of the boys' math scores led the high-scoring boys in the "academic" program to outscore the girls in that program, even though in the total sample the means for boys and girls were about the same. In short, by the end of middle school a "gender gap" emerged in math among high-scoring youngsters. These trends in variability and the greater sensitivity of males to neighborhood resources combined with school tracking offer a new and more sociological perspective on the emergence of the gender gap in math in early adolescence.
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Using data from the Surveys of Public Participation in the Arts conducted in 1982, 1985, and 1992, we analyze the relationship between cultural careers and educational careers. Drawing on ideas of cultural reproduction (Bourdieu) and cultural mobility (DiMaggio), we formulate two competing sets of hypotheses regarding the importance of "high brow" cultural capital at different ages on the likelihood of making particular educational transitions. We find that cultural capital plays a strong role in determining school success. The effects of parental cultural capital, cultural participation before age 12, and cultural participation between ages 12 to 17 and 18 to 24 are largely independent and have enduring effects across the educational career. All cultural effects decline over the course of the educational career. The context of participation is significant-cultural participation in school has less of an effect on educational success than does participation elsewhere. Generally, we find stronger support for the cultural mobility model, although social reproduction still governs the most important educational transition-entering college.
Article
Family background has been prominent in models of educational attainment. In most research, family background has been measured by socioeconomic indicators (e.g., parents' education, family income), to the exclusion of other family characteristics that also affect educational attainment. This paper argues that parents use resources to create a home environment conducive to higher attainment in education. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 are used to test several hypotheses concerning the impact of educational resources. The results support the notion that educational resources increase educational attainment.
Article
In a longitudinal study of a random sample of Baltimore youngsters starting first grade, the mathematics achievement level of African-Americans and whites was almost identical. Two years later, African-American students had fallen behind by about half a standard deviation. We use mathematics test score changes over the summer when school is closed to estimate "home" influences, and we investigate three major hypotheses that might account for lower mathematics achievement among African-Americans. The most important source of variation in mathematics achievement is differences in family economic status, followed by school segregation. Two-parent (father-present) vs. one-parent (father-absent) family configurations are probably negligible as a cause when economic status is controlled. Poor children of both races consistently lose ground in the summer but do as well or better than better-off children in winter when school is in session. We discuss the theoretical and policy implications of these findings.
Article
This is a longitudinal study of the growth in reading comprehension over the first two years of school among a mixed-race random sample of children in Baltimore, Maryland. African-Americans in integrated schools made less progress in reading comprehension in winter when school was in session than did their counterparts in segregated schools. In summers, however, when they were not in school, the African-American children who attended integrated schools gained considerably more than their counterparts who attended segregated schools. White children made about the same progress in reading in integrated and segregated schools in winters and summers, even though the whites in integrated schools came from more educationally advantaged families. Thus, children of both races in integrated schools, who generally came from more educated families, did not make the expected gains in reading comprehension when school was open. In summers, however, students whose parents had more education forged ahead of those whose parents were high school dropouts. We consider several explanations for the relatively slow growth in reading comprehension we observed for children in integrated schools. It is most likely that acquisition of reading skills is harder for youngsters of both races in integrated schools because their language backgrounds differ. Early reading development depends heavily on a child's knowledge of spoken language, which for Baltimore children reflects their experience in segregated neighborhoods. At the same time, schools seem to help the children from economically disadvantaged homes--the ones who need help the most.
Article
Collins's and Bourdieu's conflict theories of educational stratification are elaborated into two testable hypotheses. One hypothesis states that the effects of parents' financial resources on children's educational attainment have decreased; the other states that the effects of parents' cultural resources have increased. I estimate linear structural models in which the educational attainment of the two oldest siblings in a family is predicted by social background and by indicators of parents' financial and cultural resources. Cohort comparisons show that the influence of financial resources has disappeared since 1950 and that the influence of cultural resources, which was small before 1950, became even smaller after 1950. The association between parents' participation in high culture and children's educational attainment proves to be spurious.
Article
The authors used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999, to test ideas from Lareau’s qualitative study of social class differences in parenting. Consistent with Lareau, a confirmatory factor analysis supported the general concerted cultivation construct—a parenting strategy that subsumes parents’ school engagement, children’s participation in extracurricular activities, and the amount of educational materials in the home. The authors also found that socioeconomic status (SES) was the major correlate of parents’ use of concerted cultivation. Contrary to Lareau, however, the authors found that racial/ethnic differences in concerted cultivation are moderately strong, even with SES controlled. Finally, this study identified a variety of other family characteristics that are related to concerted cultivation, net of SES. The findings suggest the utility of combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to understand the intergenerational transmission of social status.
Article
Numerous studies have documented the importance of parental involvement to children's success at school. Much of the discussion about what influences the outcomes of poor children has assumed that low-income parents have the same opportunity to help with their children's education. Yet, parents' availability to be involved with their children's education is often determined by job benefits and working conditions. The goal of this article is to examine empirically whether low-income working parents face significantly different nonfinancial barriers to parental involvement than those faced by higher income working parents. In particular, we examine the working conditions faced by parents who have at least one child who is in need of help because of educational or behavioral problems. Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth––Mother and Child Surveys (NLSY) on 1, 878 families where mothers worked more than 20 hr per week were analyzed.
Article
Migrants are one of the most academically vulnerable groups in the United States, constantly faced with economic, health, and work-related problems that translate into lower academic achievement and higher dropout rates. These hardships make it difficult for schools to effectively negotiate the parental involvement terrain and promote academic success for this group. Because of the paucity of literature on effective parental involvement practices for migrants, we sought to fill this gap in the literature. Using a qualitative approach, interviews and observations were conducted in four effective migrant-impacted school districts throughout a 5-month period. Findings suggest these schools were successful at involving parents because they aimed to meet parental needs above all other involvement considerations. In other words, schools were successful not because they subscribed to a particular definition of involvement, but because they held themselves accountable to meet the multiple needs of migrant parents on a daily and ongoing basis.
Article
Sociologists suggest that children from socially advantaged families continue to learn during the summer, whereas children from disadvantaged families learn either little or lose ground. This disparity in summer learning is hypothesized to result from differential participation in educationally beneficial summer activities. In this article, we test this theory with current and nationally representative data, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Cohort. We examine how children's socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with their learning of literacy, mathematics, and general knowledge over the summer between kindergarten and the first grade. We also explore whether social-background differences in learning are explained by differential participation rates in summer activities. Our analytic models adjust for discrepancies between the timing of assessments and the timing of schools closing for the summer and opening in the fall. Much of the observed gain results from time in school. Nonetheless, social stratification characterizes summer learning between kindergarten and the first grade, with higher-SES children learning more. However, these social-background differences are only modestly explained by the activities in which children participate during the summer months.
Article
Data from the 1988 National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) are used to examine immigrant youths’ reading comprehension and mathematics’ standardized scores as well as their parents’ demographic characteristics and parent-child relations that could influence children’s educational achievements. The comparisons were among parents who had emigrated from Asian, Central and South American, or the less often included European countries and their first- and second-generation offspring. It appeared that Asian students did somewhat better than the other groups. However, regardless of ethnicity and also as hypothesized, parents’ aspirations for their children to obtain more education as well as the children’s own aspirations generally were positively related to their children’s doing well in school. Contrary to previous research, though, ethnic background did not consistently differentiate parental help with homework or parent-child conversations about school on the adolescents’ standardized scores.
Article
A review of 39 studies indicated that achievement test scores decline over summer vacation. The results of the 13 most recent studies were combined using meta-analytic procedures. The meta-analysis indicated that the summer loss equaled about one month on a grade-level equivalent scale, or one tenth of a standard deviation relative to spring test scores. The effect of summer break was more detrimental for math than for reading and most detrimental for math computation and spelling. Also, middle-class students appeared to gain on grade-level equivalent reading recognition tests over summer while lower-class students lost on them. There were no moderating effects for student gender or race, but the negative effect of summer did increase with increases in students’ grade levels. Suggested explanations for the findings include the differential availability of opportunities to practice different academic material over summer (with reading practice more available than math practice) and differences in the material’s susceptibility to memory decay (with fact- and procedure-based knowledge more easily forgotten than conceptual knowledge). The income differences also may be related to differences in opportunities to practice and learn. The results are examined for implications concerning summer school programs and proposals concerning school calendar changes
Article
Previous empirical studies have long noted the existence of an “Asian effect” on students' math and science performance. Yet, few studies have developed a conceptual model that explains why Asian-American students outperform students from other race-ethnic backgrounds. In this study, I incorporate the concepts of financial, human, cultural, and social capital into an investment model to study racial differences in educational performance. Analyses of a nationally representative sample of 8th grade students have indicated that families from East-Asian origins invest more aggressively in financial, human, and within-family social capital than families from other racial groups, even after social and demographic controls are taken into consideration. These differences in investment explain a large portion of the Asian effect. In addition, half of the investment measures examined yield a greater educational return for East-Asian students than for students of other racial groups. Overall, the analyses have demonstrated that the investment model is an attractive approach to study the Asian effect.
Article
Although family life has an important impact on children's life chances, the mechanisms through which parents transmit advantages are imperfectly understood. An ethnographic data set of white children and black children approximately 10 years old shows the effects of social class on interactions inside the home. Middle-class parents engage in concerted cultivation by attempting to foster children's talents through organized leisure activities and extensive reasoning. Working-class and poor parents engage in the accomplishment of natural growth, providing the conditions under which children can grow but leaving leisure activities to children themselves. These parents also use directives rather than reasoning. Middle-class children, both white and black, gain an emerging sense of entitlement from their family life. Race had much less impact than social class. Also, differences in a cultural logic of childrearing gave parents and their children differential resources to draw on in their interactions with professionals and other adults outside the home. Middle-class children gained individually insignificant but cumulatively important advantages. Working-class and poor children did not display the same sense of entitlement or advantages. Some areas of family life appeared exempt from the effects of social class, however.
Article
The testing and examination history in China can be traced back to the imper- ial period nearly two thousand years ago. The existence of English language testing (tests), on the other hand, has a much shorter history. These English tests, developed and administered over the past 20 years, however, are taken by billions of learners of the English language in China. To many of these learners, doing well on these tests are the key to their academic success as well as the success of their life in general. The paper will first introduce major tests and examinations of English designed and administered in China, then provide an overview of the current research in language testing that has been conducted by Chinese researchers and published in Chinese academic journals over the past 10 years. This paper will focus on the discussion of the issues and concerns of language testing within the Chinese context.
Chapter
Long experience with measurement instruments such as thermometers, yardsticks, and speedometers may have left the impression that measurement instruments are physical devices providing measurements that can be read directly off a numerical scale. This impression is certainly not valid for educational and psychological tests. A useful way to view a test is as a series of small experiments in which the tester records a vector of responses by the testee. These responses are not direct measurements, but provide the data from which measurements can be inferred.
Article
This chapter discusses the three level hierarchical linear model for more appropriate conceptualization of research on school effects. The fundamental phenomenon of interest in educational research is the growth in knowledge and skill of individual students. Research on school effects has a similar structure. The principal organizational unit at present is the school building, rather than the classroom, and the effects associated with the structural and normative characteristics of schools and their external environments are major research interests. The chapter also presents the hierarchical linear model. The statistical theory for the hierarchical linear model has developed out of several streams of methodological work. The title hierarchical linear model is preferred because it highlights a class of substantive problems that can be addressed through this approach. The problems of educational research typically have a nested structure—students within classrooms and time series observations within individuals.
Article
This study contributes to the ongoing scholarly debate about the relative importance of parents' resources and values in influencing parents' child-rearing practices. Using ethnographic data on children's summer experiences, the authors examine how families from different ethnic and social-class backgrounds assemble child care and other activities for their children during summer vacation. The authors argue that social-class differences in the quality and quantity of children's activities do not stem largely from fundamental differences in parents' desires to help children develop or cultivate their skills and talents. Instead, these differences stem from parents' differential access to a wide range of resources, including money, the human capital to know how best to assess and improve children's skills, the cultural capital to know how best to cultivate children's talents, and the social capital to learn about and gain access to programs and activities. The authors also show that children's own values and temperaments, or “child capital,” strongly influence children's activities, sometimes compensating for parents' lack of resources and sometimes impeding parents' efforts to construct stimulating summers for their children.
Article
Socialization theories posit parenting practices as mechanisms linking socioeconomic status (SES) and children's academic outcomes. A mediational parenting model was tested examining separate effects of maternal education, occupation, and income for a sample of 238 divorced or recently separated mothers of 6- to 9-year-old sons. For the SEM path models, each indicator of SES was associated with better parenting, and parenting in turn had indirect effects on achievement through home skill-building activities and school behavior. The direct effect of maternal education on achievement was mediated by home skill-building activities, the direct effect of maternal occupation on achievement was not mediated, and income measures had no direct effects on achievement. These findings underscore the importance of unpacking the effects of SES and the relevance of effective parenting practices as a protective factor in the home and school environment for young boys' school success during postdivorce adjustment.
Chapter
Analysis of Ordinal Categorical Data Alan Agresti Statistical Science Now has its first coordinated manual of methods for analyzing ordered categorical data. This book discusses specialized models that, unlike standard methods underlying nominal categorical data, efficiently use the information on ordering. It begins with an introduction to basic descriptive and inferential methods for categorical data, and then gives thorough coverage of the most current developments, such as loglinear and logit models for ordinal data. Special emphasis is placed on interpretation and application of methods and contains an integrated comparison of the available strategies for analyzing ordinal data. This is a case study work with illuminating examples taken from across the wide spectrum of ordinal categorical applications. 1984 (0 471-89055-3) 287 pp. Regression Diagnostics Identifying Influential Data and Sources of Collinearity David A. Belsley, Edwin Kuh and Roy E. Welsch This book provides the practicing statistician and econometrician with new tools for assessing the quality and reliability of regression estimates. Diagnostic techniques are developed that aid in the systematic location of data points that are either unusual or inordinately influential; measure the presence and intensity of collinear relations among the regression data and help to identify the variables involved in each; and pinpoint the estimated coefficients that are potentially most adversely affected. The primary emphasis of these contributions is on diagnostics, but suggestions for remedial action are given and illustrated. 1980 (0 471-05856-4) 292 pp. Applied Regression Analysis Second Edition Norman Draper and Harry Smith Featuring a significant expansion of material reflecting recent advances, here is a complete and up-to-date introduction to the fundamentals of regression analysis, focusing on understanding the latest concepts and applications of these methods. The authors thoroughly explore the fitting and checking of both linear and nonlinear regression models, using small or large data sets and pocket or high-speed computing equipment. Features added to this Second Edition include the practical implications of linear regression; the Durbin-Watson test for serial correlation; families of transformations; inverse, ridge, latent root and robust regression; and nonlinear growth models. Includes many new exercises and worked examples.
Article
The present study examined whether mothers' verbal input at 3 years of age that specifies relations between objects, actions, and concepts (scaffolding) related to children's development of verbal and nonverbal cognitive skills from 3 through 6 years of age. We were particularly interested in whether these relations differed for children who varied in their levels of biological risk . Mothers' scaffolding when children were 3 years of age occurred on average in about 18% of the interactions observed in everyday situations in the home. Growth-curve modeling revealed that, for all children, scaffolding predicted verbal and nonverbal skills even after controlling for families' socioeconomic status and frequency of maternal stimulation. Scaffolding was more strongly related to preterm as compared to full-term children's growth in nonverbal skills. Preterm children with mothers who used scaffolding more frequently had nonverbal skill development that more closely approximated that of full-term children. However, by 6 years, all children in this predominately low-income sample displayed low cognitive age scores. Experimental studies would be the next step to determine if increasing this type of verbal interaction would foster more optimal outcomes.
Article
We used ECLS-K data for White first graders in 1999 to quantitatively test Lareau’s [Lareau, Annette, 2003. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. University of California Press, Berkeley] theory of the role played by parental concerted cultivation as a mediator of the positive effect of parental SES on children’s school achievement. We measured concerted cultivation using a scale of 29 items, each of which was a parental response to one of the following: perceptions of parental responsibilities towards their child, leisure time activities scheduled for the child, parental relationships with the child’s school, and the number of children’s books at home. We also included measures of parental educational expectations, the teacher’s judgment of the student’s school-related effort and organization, and socio-demographic control variables. We used two distinct measures of achievement—reading test scores, and the teacher’s judgment of the student’s language and literacy skills. In support of Lareau’s theory, we found that parental SES is positively and very strongly associated with concerted cultivation. We also found that concerted cultivation is positively associated with both test scores and the teacher’s judgment of student language and literacy skills, and explains a portion of the effect of parental SES on these achievement measures. However, the portion attributable to concerted cultivation is modest in size.