The Intergenerational Transmission of Parental Involvement in Education: Evidence from British Data Spanning over Three Generations

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:54
Oral Presentation
Katherin BARG, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
William BAKER, Cardiff University, United Kingdom
An important body of research has studied the intergenerational transmission of parenting behaviours in order to identify the causes of child maltreatment and harsh parenting. The intergenerational transmission of parenting behaviours, however, has received less attention as a potential driver of social stratification in parental involvement in children’s education. In this paper, we ask whether parental involvement in education is transmitted inter-generationally and, if so, whether this helps to explain social class differentials in parental involvement in education. Understanding the transmission of parental involvement is important because recent evidence suggests widening social class differentials in certain types of parenting, including reading to the child (Richards et al. 2016, Putnam 2015).

We use data from The 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS) to explore the relationship between intergenerational transmission of parenting behaviours and social class. The BCS is ideal for this task: it provides information on the involvement of the cohort members’ parents and the cohort members’ own involvement in their children’s education. We use information collected in 1975, 1980 and 2004. We examine how much the cohort member’s mother reads to her child when the child (i.e. the cohort member) is 5 years old and the mother’s involvement in the child’s schooling at age 5 and 10. We then analyze the cohort member’s own reading to their children and involvement in school when they are 34 years old and their children are between the age of 5 and 16. Hierarchical regressions are used to identify the extent to which the involvement of the participants’ parents in 1975 and 1980 can account for social class differences in the participants’ involvement when they were 34 years old (2004). We also include factors related to cohort member’s social class and involvement behaviour such as the social class of the cohort members’ parents.