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Family Background, Educational Resources, and Educational Attainment

Family background has been prominent in models of educational attainment. In most research, family background has been measured by socioeconomic indicators (e.g., parents' education, family income), to the exclusion of other family characteristics that also affect educational attainment. This paper argues that parents use resources to create a home environment conducive to higher attainment in education. Data from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 are used to test several hypotheses concerning the impact of educational resources. The results support the notion that educational resources increase educational attainment


Teachman, J. D. (1987). Family Background, Educational Resources, and Educational Attainment. American Sociological Review, 52(4), 548-557.