Unequal Childhoods Revisited: Examining the Causal Effects of Concerted Cultivation in Elementary School
Date of Completion
concerted cultivation; student outcome; parental involvement; early childhood
Mary J. Fischer
Michael E. Wallace
Field of Study
Doctor of Philosophy
Using nationally representative data from Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K), this study provides a comprehensive and quantitative examination of Lareau’s (Lareau, Annette, 2003. Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life.) theory of concerted cultivation and its influences on child development in elementary school. Building upon the cultural and social capital theories and Lareau’s conceptions of concerted cultivation, this dissertation contributes to the social stratification studies of intergenerational transmission of advantages or disadvantages and fills the gaps in the empirical evidence for the causal mechanisms of concerted cultivation. First, I examine the causal effects of concerted cultivation on student academic and behavioral outcomes, accounting for the issues of omitted variable bias and reverse causation using cross-lagged panel models with fixed and random effects. Second, as previous research has highlighted the potential drawbacks of intensive parenting on child development, I examine whether intensive and hectic concerted cultivation has negative consequences through analyzing the nonlinear relationship between concerted cultivation and student outcomes. I further investigate racial and class differential patterns of nonlinear relationships. Third, given the school contextual influences, I investigate how the effects of concerted cultivation vary by school-level concerted cultivation by employing a school organizational-based multilevel modeling approach. Overall, this dissertation carries out important policy implications for examining how educational inequalities are produced and reinforced through parental practices in early life course. The results shed lights on education policies that how to effectively promote parental involvement as a lever for raising academic performance and preventing deviant behaviors.
Li, Angran, "Unequal Childhoods Revisited: Examining the Causal Effects of Concerted Cultivation in Elementary School" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations. 2147.