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On the Accuracy of Children's Reports of Family Social Status

Alan C. Kerckhoff, William M. Mason and Sharon Sandomirsky Poss
Sociology of Education
Vol. 46, No. 2 (Spring, 1973), pp. 219-247
DOI: 10.2307/2112098
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112098
Page Count: 29
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On the Accuracy of Children's Reports of Family Social Status
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Abstract

A systematic comparison is presented of the reports by school-age boys of their parents' educational level and their fathers' occupations with the reports of these same characteristics by the parents. Both black and white boys in the sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades are included. We find little general evidence of serious loss due to nonresponse, although the loss tends to be somewhat larger among blacks at all grade levels. Our regression and correlation analyses suggest that: (a) boys in higher grades are more accurate reporters than are boys in lower grades; (b) there is only a slight tendency to upgrade parents' characteristics, primarily in sixth graders' reports of mother's education; (c) black-white differences are most apparent among the sixth and ninth grade boys; and (d) to some extent, these color differences in accuracy are due to the different distributions of blacks and whites on the status characteristics studied.

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