Minorities’ Diminished Returns of Parental Educational Attainment on Adolescents’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems
Aim: To compare racial groups for the effect of parental educational attainment on adolescents’ social, emotional, and behavioral problems.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 10,762 youth from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study were included. The independent variable was parental educational attainment. The main outcomes were 1) anxious and depressed mood, 2) withdrawn and depressed affect, 3) somatic complaints, 4) social and interpersonal problems, 5) thought problems, 6) rule-breaking behaviors, 7) attention problems, and 8) violent and aggressive behaviors. These scores were generated based on parent-reported behavioral problems measured using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Race and ethnicity were the moderators. Linear regression was used to analyze the ABCD data.
Results: Overall, high parental educational attainment was associated with lower scores across all domains. Race and ethnicity showed statistically significant interactions with parental educational attainment on adolescents’ fewer social, emotional, and behavioral problems (all domains), net of all confounders, indicating smaller tangible gains from their parental educational attainment for Black and Hispanic compared to non-Hispanic White adolescents.
Conclusion: The protective effects of parental education against social, emotional, and behavioral problems are systematically diminished for Hispanic and Black than non-Hispanic White adolescents
Source: National Institute of Health (2020). Minorities’ Diminished Returns of Parental Educational Attainment on Adolescents’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems.