Parents, Peers and the Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage

Event Details
  Parents, Peers, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Advantage 
  March 20, 2013 4:00 PM
  March 20, 2013 5:00 PM
  University Hall room 2160

A research presentation and discussion facilitated by

Bria Carolan

Sara J. Wasserman 

Student-level factors external to the K-12 classroom experience continue to explain a large proportion of variance in students’ outcomes.  Extant research has identified two of these factors: a parent’s style of parenting and the influence of peers during adolescence.  To better understand the contribution of both factors on young adults’ attainment of a four-year college degree, this research uses longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and its two related supplements, the Child Development Supplement (CDS) and Transition to Adulthood (TA) Study to examine three specific aims: (1) Test the cultural reproduction hypothesis by predicting young adults’ attainment of a four-year college degree from a set of background variables related to social class.  (2) Test the cultural mobility hypothesis by examining how a specific style of parenting, concerted cultivation, mediates the relationship between social class and the attainment of a four-year college degree. (3) Test for the peer influence hypothesis by verifying how and to what degree adolescents’ peers further mediate the relationships identified in Aims 1 and 2. Preliminary results confirm that there are strong and direct effects of social class on educational attainment and the indirect effects attributable to concerted cultivation and peers are significant, but minimal.

Brian V. Carolan, Ph.D. is associate professor of quantitative research methods in the Department of Educational Foundations

Sara J. Wasserman is a first-year student in Montclair State University's Teacher Education and Teacher Development Ed.D. program.