Diverging Destinies or Not? How Grandparents Moderate the Effects of Parental Socioeconomic Status on Early Childhood Development

Jingying He , University of Wisconsin-Madison
Jia Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In this study, we utilize Millennnium Cohort Survey data from the United Kingdom and fixed effects model to explore 1) whether and how the grandparent’s social class casually interacts with parents’ SES to affect the children’s cognitive and behavioral outcomes; 2) how the causal moderation effect of grandparent’s class varies across children’s development trajectory; and 3) whether the moderating effects of grandparents differ by grandparents’ survival and coresidence status. We pay particular attention to whether grandparents’ occupation would play a supportive vs. competitive and augmentary vs. complementary role in moderating the effects of parents’ SES on child outcomes. Our study makes important contributions to both the multigenerational inequality and child well-being research, by considering the multigenerational status transmission as an interactive process over time, and how the augmentary and/or complementary role of grandparents would help enlarge or reduce the diverging destinies of children caused by disparities in parental resources.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality