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Parental investment in childhood and later adult well-being: can more involved parents offset the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage?

  • Darcy Hango
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    Parental involvement in their children’s lives can have a lasting impact on well-being. More involved parents convey to their children that they are interested in their development, and this in turn signals to the child that their future is valued. However, what happens in socio-economically disadvantaged homes? Can the social capital produced by greater parental involvement counteract some of the harmful effects of less financial capital? These questions are examined on the National Child Development Study; a longitudinal study of children born in Britain in 1958. Results on a sample of children raised in two parent families suggest that parental involvement does matter, but that it depends on when it and poverty are measured, as well as the type of involvement and the gender of the parent. Father interest in education has the strongest impact on earlier poverty, especially at age 11. Meanwhile, both father and mother interest in school at age 16 have the largest direct impact on education. The frequency of outings with mother at age 11 also has a larger direct impact on education than outings with father, however, neither compare with the reduction in the poverty effect as a result of father interest in school.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6262/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6262.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: May 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6262
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Shana Pribesh & Douglas Downey, 1999. "Why are residential and school moves associated with poor school performance?," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 521-534, November.
    2. Sacker, Amanda & Schoon, Ingrid & Bartley, Mel, 2002. "Social inequality in educational achievement and psychosocial adjustment throughout childhood: magnitude and mechanisms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 863-880, September.
    3. Harper, Caroline & Marcus, Rachel & Moore, Karen, 2003. "Enduring Poverty and the Conditions of Childhood: Lifecourse and Intergenerational Poverty Transmissions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 535-554, March.
    4. De Civita, Mirella & Pagani, Linda & Vitaro, Frank & Tremblay, Richard E., 2004. "The role of maternal educational aspirations in mediating the risk of income source on academic failure in children from persistently poor families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 749-769, August.
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