The Effect of Parents’ Education and Income on Children’s School Performance: the Mediating Role of the Family Environment and Children’s Characteristics, and Gender Differences
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Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Submission date: 2021-11-17
Acceptance date: 2022-01-11
Publication date: 2022-06-21
Polish Sociological Review 2022;218(2):247–272
This study investigated the effects of family socioeconomic status on children’s academic performance as mediated by their home environment and children’s characteristics, with special attention to gender differences. Structural modeling was applied to a nationally representative Czech Household Panel Survey data (2015/2016). The results revealed that socioeconomic status had no significant direct effects on school performance after controlling for other family aspects. The effects of parental education and income were transmitted by parents’ aspirations for their children, positive parenting, and literacy environment. Home environment, in turn, affected children’s aspirations, general well-being, and interest in books, which directly enhanced children’s school grades. Indeed, children’s characteristics were found to be the strongest predictors of their school performance. The gender analyses showed that the effects of parental characteristics were directly related to boys’ achievement; however, for girls, the effects of parental characteristics operated indirectly through girls’ aspirations, well-being, and interest in books.
This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation ‘Transformation of gender gaps in the Czech educational system and the labor market: Dynamics, causes and consequences’ (Grant No. 19-15303S).