Family structure and the reproduction of inequality: Parents' contribution to children's college costs

John C. Henretta, Douglas A. Wolf, Matthew F. Van Voorhis, Beth J. Soldo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the role of family structure in the financial support parents provide for their children's college education. Data are from the Health and Retirement Study. We focus on aspects of family structure that affect parental support and estimate shared family variance in investments as well as within-family variation using a multilevel model. Family membership accounts for about 60% of the variance in payment of college costs. Small family size, living with both biological parents (compared to one biological parent and a stepparent), higher parental education, and having older parents are associated with greater parental expenditures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)876-887
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Keywords

  • College cost
  • Family structure
  • Intergenerational transfers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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