Getting Ahead: The Effects of Parental Education, Income, and Occupation on Children's Skills at Kindergarten Entry Open Access

Leitner-Zieff, Ariel (2011)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/ng451h77m?locale=en
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Abstract


Many studies have sought to determine the effects that a family's socioeconomic status (SES)
can have on a child's educational achievement. However, few studies scrutinize this concept in
such a way as to account for the independent effects of parental educational attainment, income,
and occupation. In this study I examine the particular mechanisms through which parents'
educational attainment, income, and occupation can promote their child's academic success. In
examining children's scores on reading and math tests at kindergarten entry, I am able to focus
solely on the home and background effects, before the formal schooling system has made an
impact. I analyze the effects that parental education, income, and occupation can have on
reading and math scores, and account for mediation caused by other intervening variables. My
findings suggest that parental education shapes children's skills through parental expectations for
educational attainment, the frequency of activities, and parental involvement at school, that
parental income matters through activities outside the home, extracurricular activities, and
neighborhood safety, and, to a lesser extent, that parental occupation matters through parent's
beliefs on the importance of skills, whether they ever spank their children, and whether they
implement physical punishment. Finally, I discuss future implications for these findings.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction

1

Literature Review

4
Education

8
Income

10
Occupation

15
Kindergarten Entry

17
School Environment

18
Hypotheses

19
Data and Methods

21
Results

26
Discussion and Conclusion

31
References

36
Tables

38

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