The first author will share all data and coding for replication purposes. We wish to thank Tim Heaton, Ralph Brown, Lance Erickson, and Claire Altman for helpful input.
Self-Esteem and the Reproduction of Social Class†
Article first published online: 1 APR 2013
© 2013 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Volume 94, Issue 4, pages 933–955, December 2013
How to Cite
James, S. L. and Amato, P. R. (2013), Self-Esteem and the Reproduction of Social Class. Social Science Quarterly, 94: 933–955. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12019
- Issue published online: 15 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 1 APR 2013
Although prior research has demonstrated the multiple pathways through which socioeconomic attainment occurs, one unexplored avenue regards the role of psychological mechanisms such as self-esteem in this process.
Using three waves of data from the National Survey of Families and Households (N = 1,952), we employed structural equation models to examine the relationship between parenting practices and attitudes, socioeconomic status, offspring's self-esteem, and the likelihood of offspring college attendance.
Self-esteem was positively related to the likelihood of offspring's college attendance. Additionally, self-esteem was found to be a modest mediator of the relationship between parental educational expectations and parental income, respectively, and the likelihood of offspring completing or being currently enrolled in college.
Self-esteem may constitute one previously unconsidered mechanism for reproducing the class structure in the United States.