Theses Doctoral

Disparities in Child Development by Parental Education

Wang, Yi

This dissertation includes three papers. Using two nationally representative datasets – Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K: 1998) and 2010-11 (ECLS-K: 2010) – the first paper examines changes in disparities in school readiness by parental education from 1998 to 2010 in the United States. Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition analysis is used for investigating if financial resources, in- and out-of-home environment and activities, parenting, and child care contributed to these disparities differently in 2010 compared to 1998.

The second paper follows the achievement trajectories of these two cohorts of kindergarteners and studies how school readiness disparities by parental education changed in 2010 compared to 1998 when children progressed through third grade. Using hierarchical linear modeling with piecewise spline function, it also estimates the roles of family and school factors at kindergarten in predicting school achievement growth rates for these two cohorts and compares to examine if there is any change in these roles. Since the content and data collection procedures of the two ECLS-K cohort datasets are very similar, the second paper pools these two datasets and uses interaction terms to examine the changes, providing more precise estimation.

The third paper pools the China Family Panel Study (CFPS) 2010 and 2014 and investigates disparities in vocabulary and math by parental education and the roles of parenting and home environment in explaining and accounting for these disparities in China. Besides the whole sample, analysis is also conducted for the subsamples of children in rural, urban, and migrant settings due to different economic and cultural factors in these settings.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Waldfogel, Jane
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 5, 2021