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Do Parents' Social Activities Promote Children's School Attainments? Evidence from the German Socioeconomic Panel

Felix Büchel and Greg J. Duncan
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 60, No. 1 (Feb., 1998), pp. 95-108
DOI: 10.2307/353444
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353444
Page Count: 14
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Do Parents' Social Activities Promote Children's School Attainments? Evidence from the German Socioeconomic Panel
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Abstract

Using longitudinal data from the German Socioeconomic Panel, we investigate whether parental activities, such as attending cultural events, doing volunteer work, and socializing with friends, promote the educational attainments of children. These parental activities may constitute a beneficial form of social capital. On the other hand, they may reduce the amount of time parents spend with their children. We find significant linkages between a subset of fathers' activities and the attainments of children—especially boys—with positive effects for fathers' engaging in active sports and volunteer work, but negative effects for socializing with friends. Most of the effects of mothers' activities can be accounted for by differences in the family's socioeconomic status.

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