When Wealth Matters - Lori A. Campbell

When Wealth Matters

By Lori A. Campbell

  • Release Date: 2013-05-18
  • Genre: Family & Relationships
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When Wealth Matters Lori A. Campbell Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

In this dissertation, I explore whether parental wealth influences child development, including children’s math and reading achievement, behavior problems and motor and social development. Using the linked lives framework and drawing upon social capital theory, I hypothesize that wealth affects children’s development through the provision of the home environment, including parentingbehaviors and material goods and services. Additionally, I argue that parental aspirations for the child’s education may shape child achievement. My sample is drawn from the NLSY79 mother-child data, and I calculate parental wealth in three different ways: from the child’s birth to age 5, current wealth at the time of the child’s assessment, and average wealth over the course of the child’s life. My results show that parental wealth affects the quality of the home environment that parents provide for their children with wealthier parents providing stronger home environments than less affluent parents. The initial positive, significant effect of wealth on child math and reading achievement is attenuated and eventually reduced to non-significance after I control for parent and family attributes, including home environment quality. However, parental wealth continues to influence child behavior problems even after adjusting for factors believed to impact child social adjustment.

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