The effects of a dual career family on children

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The effects of a dual career family on children

Egalite sits down with Marty West to discuss this article on the EdNext podcast. This article is part of a new Education Next series commemorating the 50th anniversary of James S.

On the weekend before the Fourth of Julythe U. Office of Education quietly released a page report that summarized one of the most comprehensive studies of American education ever conducted.

Encompassing some 3, schools, nearlystudents, and thousands of teachers, and produced by a team led by Johns Hopkins University sociologist James S.

Education Next is a journal of opinion and research about education policy.

Indeed, the timing of the release relied on one of the oldest tricks in the public relations playbook—announcing unfavorable results on a major holiday, when neither the American public nor the news media are paying much attention.

So what exactly had Coleman uncovered? Subsequent research has corroborated the finding that family background is strongly correlated with student performance in school. A correlation between family background and educational and economic success, however, does not tell us whether the relationship between the two is independent of any school impacts.

The associations between home life and school performance that Coleman documented may actually be driven by disparities in school or neighborhood quality rather than family influences. In this essay I look at four family variables that may influence student achievement: I then consider the ways in which schools can offset the effects of these factors.

Better-educated parents are more likely to consider the quality of the local schools when selecting a neighborhood in which to live. In addition, highly educated parents are more likely than their less-educated counterparts to read to their children. They are more likely to pose questions instead of directives and employ a broader and more complex vocabulary.

Estimates suggest that, by age 3, children whose parents receive public assistance hear less than a third of the words encountered by their higher-income peers. As a result, the children of highly educated parents are capable of more complex speech and have more extensive vocabularies before they even start school.

A cohesive social network of well-educated individuals socializes children to expect that they too will attain high levels of academic success. It can also transmit cultural capital by teaching children the specific behaviors, patterns of speech, and cultural references that are valued by the educational and professional elite.

Teasing out the distinct causal impact of parental education is tricky, but given the strong association between parental education and student achievement in every industrialized society, the direct impact is undoubtedly substantial.

Even small differences in access to the activities and experiences that are known to promote brain development can accumulate. More-affluent parents can also use their resources to ensure that their children have access to a full range of extracurricular activities at school and in the community.

Working multiple jobs or inconvenient shifts makes it hard to dedicate time for family dinners, enforce a consistent bedtime, read to infants and toddlers, or invest in music lessons or sports clubs.

The effects of a dual career family on children

Even small differences in access to the activities and experiences that are known to promote brain development can accumulate, resulting in a sizable gap between two groups of children defined by family circumstances. It is challenging to find rigorous experimental or quasi-experimental evidence to disentangle the direct effects of home life from the effects of the school a family selects.

While Coleman claimed that family and peers had an effect on student achievement that was distinct from the influence of schools or neighborhoods, his research design was inadequate to support this conclusion. All he was able to show was that family characteristics had a strong correlation with student achievement.

Separating out the independent effects of family education and family income is also difficult. However, a recent study by Gordon Dahl and Lance Lochner, exploiting quasi-experimental variation in the Earned Income Tax Credit, provides convincing evidence that increases in family income can lift the achievement levels of students raised in low-income working families, even holding other factors constant.

Two percent of U. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2. Black children are 7. Incarceration removes a wage earner from the home, lowering household income. One estimate suggests that two-thirds of incarcerated fathers had provided the primary source of family income before their imprisonment.

As a result, children with a parent in prison are at greater risk of homelessness, which in turn can have grave consequences: Quantifying the causal effects of parental incarceration has proven challenging, however.

A recent review of 22 studies of the effect of parental incarceration on child well-being concludes that, to date, no research in this area has been able to leverage a natural experiment to produce quasi-experimental estimates. Just how large a causal impact parental incarceration has on children remains an important but largely uncharted topic for future research.

While most American children still live with both of their biological or adoptive parents, family structures have become more diverse in recent years, and living arrangements have grown increasingly complex. In particular, the two-parent family is vanishing among the poor.

Approximately two-fifths of U. Many parents today choose cohabitation over marriage, but the instability of such partnerships is even higher.Getting a good job is a multifaceted process. It requires you to be passionate about your career-based pursuits, leverage your professional network standards and tailor your resume for specific positions besides dressing up for success.

Studies show that dual-career couples with children experience work-family conflicts, which affect their performance at home and on the job. Researchers have found that greater independence at work and control of one's work schedule reduce these conflicts. We invite you to kick off Giving Tuesday with us!

Giving Tuesday is a Global Giving Movement. Tuesday, November 27, you have the chance to join the movement with other people around the world to support a cause close to your heart. 2. How many highly gifted children are there? No one really knows. Although many researchers have made estimates, and test norms indicate the statistically rare incidence of children in this population, the actual numbers of such children may well be greater than the statistical norms imply.

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