Family socioeconomic status, parental involvement, and college major choices - Gender, race/ethnic, and nativity patterns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

College major choice is a much-neglected yet highly significant topic in sociological research. This article focuses on family socioeconomic status (SES) and parental involvement to examine potential family influences on patterned college major choice by gender, race/ethnicity, and nativity. Using data from the National Education Longitudinal Study 1988-1994 (NELS: 88-94), this study confirms old gender patterns and finds new racial/ethnic patterns in college major choice. Lower SES children are found to favor more lucrative college majors. Family SES is found to have differential effects on men and women and for racial/ ethnic minorities and whites. Parental involvement in children's domain-specific education exerts significant effects on children's college major choice. These together suggest important theoretical and policy implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-234
Number of pages24
JournalSociological Perspectives
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 16 2009

Keywords

  • College major choice
  • Family socioeconomic status
  • Gender
  • Parental involvement
  • Race and nativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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