Family of Origin, Race/Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Attainment: Genotype and Intraindividual Processes

Authors


  • Department of Human Development and Family Science, 107 Family Science Center I, 405 Sanford Dr., The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. (cwalker1@uga.edu)

  • This article was edited by Robert Crosnoe.

Department of Human Development and Family Science, 103 Family Science Center II, 405 Sanford Dr., The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

Abstract

Previous research has mainly focused on the persistent direct influence of early life contexts on young adult socioeconomic attainment, and less is known about intraindividual processes that are responsible for this persistent influence. The present study, using genetically informed longitudinal, prospective data from a nationally representative sample (Add Health), attempted to fill this gap by adding three important findings to the literature: (a) Adolescents experiencing adverse family contexts during childhood and early adolescence showed lower socioeconomic attainment in early adulthood than adolescents from less adverse family contexts, (b) adolescent academic and cognitive competencies and psychological vulnerabilities partially mediated these persistent influences, and (c) individual cumulative genetic characteristics additively and interactively influenced adolescent competencies and vulnerabilities as well as young adult socioeconomic attainment. The results demonstrate that although substantial continuity exists in early adversities, individual genetic variability is a factor that influences individuals' response to early socioeconomic conditions.

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