Parental Educational Attainment Differentially Boosts School Performance of American Adolescents: Minorities’ Diminished Returns

  • Shervin Assari Department of Family Medicine, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA AND Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • Cleopatra H. Caldwell Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA AND Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Keywords: Educational Attainment, Race, Ethnicity, Blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, African Americans, Socioeconomic Status, School Performance

Abstract

Objective: To explore racial and ethnic variation in the effects of parental educational attainment on students’ grade point average (GPA) in the US. As suggested by the Minorities' Diminished Returns (MDR) theory, socioeconomic status (SES) systemically results in smaller outcomes for non-Whites compared to Whites. We still know very little about diminished trans-generational returns of SES resources such as parental educational attainment. For example, the differential impacts of parental educational attainment on school performance of youth from various racial and ethnic backgrounds are still unknown. Materials and methods: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH 2013 - 2014) is a nationally representative survey in the US. The total sample was 10,701 youth (12-17 years old) were enrolled. The independent variable was parental educational attainment. The main outcome was GPA measured using self-report. Age, gender, and parental marital status were the covariates. Race and ethnicity were the effect modifiers. Linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: Overall, higher parental educational attainment was associated with a higher GPA, independent of all possible confounders. Race and ethnicity, however, both showed significant interaction with parental educational attainment on students’ GPA, indicating smaller positive effects of parental educational attainment on students’ GPA for Hispanic and Black compared to non-Hispanic White youth.Conclusion: The boosting effect of parental educational attainment on GPA is smaller for Black and Hispanic compared to White youth. To minimize diminished returns of parental educational attainment for Black and Hispanic families, there is a need for innovative public and social policies and programs that are not limited to equalizing SES but also address the structural barriers that disproportionately limit upward social mobility of racial and ethnic minority students and their families. The US society should reduce extra costs of upward social mobility for racial and ethnic minority families. As the underlying mechanisms are multifaceted, multi-level approach is needed to undo minorities’ diminished returns, so every individual can gain the same tangible outcome from their SES resources.

References

1. Ross CE, Mirowsky J. Does employment affect health? .J Health Soc Behav 1995; 36: 230-43.
2. Ross CE, Mirowsky J. Refining the association between education and health: the effects of quantity, credential, and selectivity. Demography 1999; 36: 445-60.
3. Mirowsky J, Ross CE. Education, Health, and the Default American Lifestyle. J Health Soc Behav 2015; 56: 297-306.
4. Assari S. Parental Education Better Helps White than Black Families Escape Poverty: National Survey of Children’s Health. Economies 2018; 6:30.
5. Cook WK, Tseng W. Associations of Asian Ethnicity and Parental Education with Overweight in Asian American Children and Adolescents: An Analysis of 2011-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Matern Child Health J 2019; 23: 504-11.
6. Iqbal M, Amirsalari S, Radfar S, Haidari MR. Effects of parental gender and level of education on the quality of life and general health of pediatric patients with epilepsy: An outpatient cross-sectional survey. Epilepsy Behav 2016; 60: 118-23.
7. Karlsson O, De Neve JW, Subramanian SV. Weakening association of parental education: analysis of child health outcomes in 43 low- and middle-income countries. Int J Epidemiol 2018.
8. Bachman JG, O'Malley PM, Johnston LD, Schulenberg JE, Wallace JM. Racial/ethnic differences in the relationship between parental education and substance use among U.S. 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students: findings from the Monitoring the Future project. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2011; 72: 279-85.
9. Rodenburg G, Oenema A, Kremers SP, van de Mheen D. Parental and child fruit consumption in the context of general parenting, parental education and ethnic background. Appetite 2012; 58: 364-72.
10. Assari S, Farokhnia M, Mistry R. Education Attainment and Alcohol Binge Drinking: Diminished Returns of Hispanics in Los Angeles. Behav Sci (Basel) 2019; 9. pii: E9.
11. Assari S. Parental Education Attainment and Educational Upward Mobility; Role of Race and Gender. Behav Sci (Basel) 2018; 8. pii: E107.
12. Assari S. Parental Educational Attainment and Mental Well-Being of College Students; Diminished Returns of Blacks. Brain Sci 2018; 8. pii: E193.
13. Assari S. Unequal Gain of Equal Resources across Racial Groups. Int J Health Policy Manag 2017; 7: 1-9.
14. Assari S. Blacks' Diminished Return of Education Attainment on Subjective Health; Mediating Effect of Income. Brain Sci 2018; 8. pii: E176.
15. Assari S, Caldwell CH, Mincy R. Family Socioeconomic Status at Birth and Youth Impulsivity at Age 15; Blacks' Diminished Return. Children (Basel) 2018; 5. pii: E58.
16. Assari S, Caldwell CH, Zimmerman MA. Family Structure and Subsequent Anxiety Symptoms; Minorities' Diminished Return. Brain Sci 2018; 8. pii: E97.
17. Assari S, Hani N. Household Income and Children's Unmet Dental Care Need; Blacks' Diminished Return. Dent J (Basel) 2018;6.17.
18. Assari S. Health Disparities due to Diminished Return among Black Americans: Public Policy Solutions. Social Issues and Policy Review 2018; 12: 112-45.
19. Assari S, Caldwell CH, Mincy RB. Maternal Educational Attainment at Birth Promotes Future Self-Rated Health of White but Not Black Youth: A 15-Year Cohort of a National Sample. J Clin Med 2018; 7.93.
20. Assari S, Thomas A, Caldwell CH, Mincy RB. Blacks' Diminished Health Return of Family Structure and Socioeconomic Status; 15 Years of Follow-up of a National Urban Sample of Youth. J Urban Health 2018;
95:21-35.
21. Assari S, Mistry R. Educational Attainment and Smoking Status in a National Sample of American Adults; Evidence for the Blacks' Diminished Return. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018; 15. pii: E763.
22. Assari S, Lankarani MM. Education and Alcohol Consumption among Older Americans; Black-White Differences. Front Public Health 2016; 4:67.
23. Assari S, Lankarani M. Educational Attainment Promotes Fruit and Vegetable Intake for Whites but Not Blacks. Multidiciplinary Scientific J 2018;1:5.
24. Assari S. Separate and Combined Effects of Anxiety, Depression and Problem Drinking on Subjective Health among Black, Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Men. Int J Prev Med 2014; 5:269-79.
25. Assari S. Ethnic and Gender Differences in Additive Effects of Socio-economics, Psychiatric Disorders, and Subjective Religiosity on Suicidal Ideation among Blacks. Int J Prev Med 2015; 6:53.
26. Assari S, Lankarani MM. Race and Urbanity Alter the Protective Effect of Education but not Income on Mortality. Front Public Health 2016; 4:100.
27. Assari S, Caldwell CH. High Risk of Depression in High-Income African American Boys. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2018; 5:808-19.
28. Assari S. Educational Attainment Better Protects African American Women than African American Men Against Depressive Symptoms and Psychological Distress. Brain Sci 2018;8.. pii: E182.
29. Assari S. Does School Racial Composition Explain Why High Income Black Youth Perceive More Discrimination? A Gender Analysis. Brain Sci 2018; 8). pii: E140.
30. Assari S, Moghani Lankarani M. Workplace Racial Composition Explains High Perceived Discrimination of High Socioeconomic Status African American Men. Brain Sci 2018; 8. pii: E139.
31. Benner AD, Wang Y, Shen Y, Boyle AE, Polk R, Cheng YP. Racial/ethnic discrimination and well-being during adolescence: A meta-analytic review. Am Psychol 2018; 73: 855-83.
32. Lockwood KG, Marsland AL, Matthews KA, Gianaros PJ. Perceived discrimination and cardiovascular health disparities: a multisystem review and health neuroscience perspective. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2018; 1428: 170-207.
33. Vines AI, Ward JB, Cordoba E, Black KZ. Perceived Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Mental Health: a Review and Future Directions for Social Epidemiology. Curr Epidemiol Rep2017; 4: 156-65.
34. Assari S, Caldwell CH. Family Income at Birth and Risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at Age 15: Racial Differences. Children (Basel) 2019; 6.10.
35. Assari S. Family Socioeconomic Position at Birth and School Bonding at Age 15; Blacks' Diminished Returns. Behav Sci (Basel) 2019; 9. pii: E26.
36. Assari S, Lapeyrouse LM, Neighbors HW. Income and Self-Rated Mental Health: Diminished Returns for High Income Black Americans. Behav Sci (Basel) 2018; 8.50.
37. Assari S. Race, Intergenerational Social Mobility and Stressful Life Events. Behav Sci (Basel) 2018;8.86.
38. Assari S, Caldwell CH. Teacher Discrimination Reduces School Performance of African American Youth: Role of Gender. Brain Sci 2018; 8.183.
39. Assari S, Caldwell CH. Social Determinants of Perceived Discrimination among Black Youth: Intersection of Ethnicity and Gender. Children (Basel) 2018; 5. pii: E24.
40. Hudson DL, Bullard KM, Neighbors HW, Geronimus AT, Yang J, Jackson JS. Are benefits conferred with greater socioeconomic position undermined by racial discrimination among African American men? J Mens Health 2012; 9:127-36.
41. Hudson DL, Neighbors HW, Geronimus AT, Jackson JS. The relationship between socioeconomic position and depression among a US nationally representative sample of African Americans. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr
Epidemiol 2012; 47: 373-81.
42. Assari S. Education Attainment and ObesityDifferential Returns Based on Sexual Orientation. Behav Sci (Basel) 2019; 9. pii: E16.
43. Assari S. Family Income Reduces Risk of Obesity for White but Not Black Children. Children (Basel) 2018; 5. pii: E73.
44. Assari S, Lankarani MM, Caldwell CH. Does Discrimination Explain High Risk of Depression among High-Income African American Men? Behav Sci (Basel) 2018; 8. pii: E40.
45. Assari S, Preiser B, Lankarani MM, Caldwell CH. Subjective Socioeconomic Status Moderates the Association between Discrimination and Depression in African American Youth. Brain Sci 2018; 8. pii: E71
46. Assari S. Life Expectancy Gain Due to Employment Status Depends on Race, Gender, Education, and Their Intersections. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2018; 5: 375-86.
Published
2019-07-28
How to Cite
1.
Assari S, Caldwell CH. Parental Educational Attainment Differentially Boosts School Performance of American Adolescents: Minorities’ Diminished Returns. J Fam Reprod Health. 13(1):7-13.
Section
Original Articles