Parental Schooling

Large, positive associations between parental schooling levels and children's achievement and behavior are among the most substantial and replicated results from developmental studies. It would thus be reasonable to expect that the recent increases in the educational attainment of parents of young children would bode well for them. Between 1974 and 1997, the proportion of children whose mothers had not graduated from high school dropped nearly in half, from 30 to 17 percent, while the proportion whose mothers had graduated from college nearly doubled, from 13 to 24 percent (Figure 10-3). Trends in fathers' schooling were similar, although not quite as dramatic. Changes in parental schooling levels among young black children were even more favorable than among white children, although in 1998 it was still the case that much larger fractions of black (21 percent) than white (8 percent) children had mothers who had not completed high school. In stark contrast, however, the low schooling levels of Hispanic

FIGURE 10-3 Trends in the socioeconomic resources of young children, 1974-1997. SOURCE: Untabulated data from the Current Population Survey.

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