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Family’s social economic status and child educational outcomes in China: The mediating effects of parenting practices and children’s learning attitudes


  • Qi, Di
  • Wu, Yichao


This study utilizes the 2012–2016 CFPS dataset and employs the structural equation modelling techniques to illustrate the mediating effects of parental practices and children’s learning attitudes between family social economic status (SES) and the child educational outcomes. Firstly, the results show that relative to family income and parental occupational levels, the key variable significantly links with children’s education as measured by children’s Chinese and math scores is parental educational levels. Parental education also bridges the gap in possible disparities in child outcomes arising from differences in region and Hukou. Secondly, the findings demonstrate the significant association between two mediators and child educational outcomes. It shows the importance of improving parenting practices and children’s learning attitudes for child development. Relevant policies or programs can be established to narrow the educational disparities among children between the lower and higher SES families. The findings are positive in that educational disparities can be narrowed and the vicious cycle of cultural reproduction can be broken.

Suggested Citation

  • Qi, Di & Wu, Yichao, 2020. "Family’s social economic status and child educational outcomes in China: The mediating effects of parenting practices and children’s learning attitudes," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:118:y:2020:i:c:s0190740920313621
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2020.105387

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Qi, Di & Wu, Yichao, 2015. "A multidimensional child poverty index in China," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 159-170.
    2. Bénédicte Apouey, 2016. "Child physical development in the UK: the imprint of time and socioeconomic status," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-01496908, HAL.
    3. Christina Paxson & Norbert Schady, 2007. "Cognitive Development among Young Children in Ecuador: The Roles of Wealth, Health, and Parenting," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
    4. Li, Yanfang & Xu, Liangyuan & Liu, Lijun & Lv, Ying & Wang, Yun & Huntsinger, Carol S., 2016. "Can preschool socioeconomic composition moderate relationships between family environment and Chinese children's early academic and social outcomes?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-10.
    5. Fang, Xiangming & Jing, Ruiwei & Zeng, Guang & Linnan, Huan Wan & Zhu, Xu & Linnan, Michael, 2014. "Socioeconomic status and the incidence of child injuries in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 33-40.
    6. Altafim, Elisa Rachel Pisani & McCoy, Dana Charles & Linhares, Maria Beatriz Martins, 2018. "Relations between parenting practices, socioeconomic status, and child behavior in Brazil," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 93-102.
    7. Qi, Di & Wu, Yichao, 2016. "The extent and risk factors of child poverty in urban China — What can be done for realising the Chinese government goal of eradicating poverty before 2020," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 74-82.
    8. Sun, Jin & Lau, Carrie & Sincovich, Alanna & Rao, Nirmala, 2018. "Socioeconomic status and early child development in East Asia and the Pacific: The protective role of parental engagement in learning activities," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 321-330.
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