Educational attainment, parenting styles, depressive symptoms, race and ethnicity


Utilizing four parenting styles (authoritative, authoritarian, uninvolved, and permissive) and two types of educational achievement (years of education completed and completion of a college degree), we investigated whether mental health (i.e., depressive symptoms) mediates the relationship between parenting styles in adolescence and the educational attainment of young adults. We further assessed whether the relationships among parenting styles and educational attainment vary by race and ethnicity for African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. Compared to youth with authoritative parenting, those who experienced uninvolved or authoritarian parenting were more likely to experience depressive affect, and these symptoms of depression partially mediated the relationship between parenting and educational attainment. In terms of racial and ethnic differences, African Americans and Hispanics with authoritarian or uninvolved parents earn more years of education than whites. Authoritarian parenting made it much less likely for whites to complete college compared to their African American and Hispanic counterparts.

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