Socioeconomic Status, Parenting, and Child Development

By Marc H. Bornstein; Robert H. Bradley | Go to book overview

Socioeconomic Status,
Parenting, and Child
Development:
An Introduction

In the long history of research on child well-being, few constructs have received greater attention than socioeconomic status (SES). Although social scientists do not fully agree on precisely what SES represents, and they have proposed multiple different mechanisms linking SES to child well-being, there is near universal agreement that higher SES children have access to more of the resources needed to support their positive development than do lower SES children. For young children, it is assumed that much of the influence of SES on development is mediated directly through what parents afford by way of financial and human capital. As children age, SES increasingly operates through the social capital afforded by parents and through neighborhood-community connections and resources. Despite considerable support for such broad generalizations, many questions remain regarding relations among SES, parenting, and child development. “What is the best way to measure SES in a complex, rapidly changing world?” “What aspects of parenting carry most of the SES effect for children of different ages and for different domains of development?” “How does neighborhood SES, in combination with family SES, affect parenting?” “children's behavior and development?” “How does SES vary in its effect on child well-being as a function of ethnicity, geography, and immigration status?” “Which components of SES exert the most

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