Previous research has shown that parental educational aspirations for their children are an important predictor of children’s academic attainment. However, recent studies have pointed to potential negative effects, in particular if there is a mismatch between parental educational aspirations and the aspirations of their children. This study examines (1) the role of socio-demographic and school achievement–related factors in shaping a potential (mis)match between parental educational aspirations and the aspirations of their children, and (2) whether incongruence between parental and their children’s educational aspirations hinders academic attainment in times of social change. We use data collected for the 1970 British Birth Cohort Study (BCS70) and Next Steps (formerly known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England), a cohort of young people born in 1989/90. We find that in both cohorts socio-demographic and achievement-related characteristics are associated with incongruent aspirations, and that incongruent aspirations between parents and their children are associated with a decreased likelihood of participating in and completing higher education. The study contributes to current debates regarding the causes and correlates of discrepancies in educational aspirations and how such discrepancies affect later life chances.
There is controversy regarding trends over time in the association between social origins and educational outcomes in the UK. An explanation may lie in different methods of analysis. This article provides new evidence about trends in inequality between the 1980s and 2010s and informs the debate about the conceptualisation and operationalisation of social origins. It expands the multidimensional conceptualisation of social origins proposed by Bukodi and Goldthorpe (2013) by adding a separate indicator of family income to those of class, status and education of parents. Results from two UK age cohorts born in 1970 (BCS70) and 1989/90 (Next Steps) show that social class, social status, education and income all have independent effects on educational attainment and can show different patterns of stability or variability over time. Moreover, the study highlights the importance of transitions to upper secondary education for a more comprehensive understanding of inequalities in educational progression and attainment.
This paper reviews evidence on young people in Europe and the US making the transition from school-to-work before and after the 2008 Great Recession. Taking a macro-level perspective, similarities and differences in education and employment experiences across different European countries are described, considering the role of different institutional support systems in ‘scaffolding’ young people's transitions to independence. It is argued that the 2008 financial crisis brought with it reduced employment opportunities for young people and accelerated pre-existing trends towards prolonged education participation and precarious employment. There are, however, considerable variations across different countries, highlighting the role of social institutions in supporting young people during the school-to-work transition. Transition systems that created bridges between education and employment are associated with lower national levels of youth unemployment, while young people coming of age in less-protective transition regimes suffered highest levels of youth unemployment, high levels of temporary employment and not being in education, employment or training (NEET).
This chapter assesses early childhood influences on the cognitive and behavioural development of children in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) at age 5. It considers the role potential protective factors in the family environment may play and whether they can ameliorate some of the disadvantages known to influence children's development, such as family financial hardship. It investigates the relationship between family economic resources and parental and child characteristics in shaping children's developmental outcomes at age 5. It is concerned with whether family and child characteristics have a moderating influence on the effects of family hardship on young children.
This chapter examines the relationship between a child’s development and the family environment, looking at the relative influences of the child, family and environmental factors in shaping individual development during the first year of life. The first year of life is increasingly regarded as a ‘critical’ stage of a child’s development and of emerging family relationships. The most frequently studied early indicators of child development include biological factors such as illness at birth, low birthweight and physical disability. This chapter focuses on indicators of early child development as measured by developmental delays in gross motor and fine motor development, as well as the development of communicative gestures.