Variations in Child Rearing Practices: Gender, Race and Parental Resources

Evrim Altıntaş, University of Oxford

The effects of parental background on variety of children’s outcomes are well established in the literature but the mechanisms through which parental (dis)advantages are transmitted into children’s life chances are still debated. A recent study advanced one possible mechanism: inequalities in the transmission of parental cultural capital takes place through different “child rearing strategies” (Lareau 2003). Using the 2003-2008 American Time Use Survey, we test this theory and investigate the absolute and relative differences in childcare patterns of parents. The preliminary findings provide support for the theory. For example, compared to less well-off parents, parents with higher educational and financial resources are more likely to read or talk to their children, while they are less likely to watch TV when the child is in parental care. However, the findings also demonstrate significant ethnic/racial differences in child rearing practices, even after controlling for parental resources.

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Presented in Session 65: Child Care, School Contexts, and Child Outcomes