Educational and occupational achievements of brothers and sisters in adoptive and biologically related families
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The study of brothers and sisters from adoptive and biologically related families permits unique analyses of the determinants of young adults' educational and occupational achievements. Brothers and sisters come from the same homes, neighborhoods, and usually schools. Many differences among families are controlled by the study of siblings. In addition, adoptive families influence their children only through the environment they provide, whereas biologically related parents transmit their intellectual and personal characteristics to their offspring genetically as well. Thus, the comparison of models of adult achievements for children from adoptive and biologically related families can inform us about the true effects of family environments, apart from genetic transmission (Scarr and Weinberg, 1978, 1980). In this follow-up study of 450 biologically related and adopted young adults (ages 22 to 30 years), we report on the family resemblances in educational and occupational achievements. Parents' reports were obtained on 97% of the original sample (N=443), and 77% of the young adults participated in the follow-up study themselves; complete educational and occupational data were available on 303 young adults. Results show that biological sons are more influenced by their family backgrounds than daughters, regardless of genetic relatedness. A second finding is that young women's achievements are not as predictable from their own earlier achievements as are those of their brothers. A third finding is that parents invest in their sons' educational futures, regardless of sons' abilities and achievements, in ways they do not invest in their daughters' postsecondary educations. Sibling correlations and natural mother-adopted child correlations suggest that test scores, high school performance, postsecondary education, and even later occupational status can be influenced by genetic variability in personal characteristics that affect such achievements.
- Alexander, K. L., and Eckland, B. K. (1974). Sex differences in the educational attainment process.Am. Sociol Rev. 39:668–682.
- Bridges, J. S. (1989). Sex differences in occupational values.Sex Roles 20:205–211.
- Campbell, D. P. (1974).Manual for the Strong—Campbell Interest Inventory T325 (merged form), Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.
- Crouse, J. (1978). Effects of academic ability. In Jencks, C. S. (ed.),Who Gets Ahead? Basic Books, New York.
- DeGraaf, P. M., and Huinick, J. J. (1992). Trends in measured and unmeasured effects of family background on educational attainment and occupational status in the Federal Republic of Germany.Soc. Sci. Res. 21:84–112.
- Ducan, O. D., Featherman, D. L., and Duncan, B. (1972).Socioeconomic Background and Achievement, Seminar Press, New York.
- Featherman, D. L., and Hauser, R. M. (1978).Opportunity and Changes, Academic Press, New York.
- Griliches, Z. (1979). Sibling models and data in economics: Beginnings of a survey.J. Polit. Econ. 87:37–64.
- Grotevant, H. D., Scarr, S., and Weinberg, R. A. (1977). Patterns of interest similarity in adoptive and biological families.J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 35:667–676.
- Hannah, J. S., and Kahn, S. E. (1989). The relationship of socioeconomic status and gender to the occupational choices of Grade 12 subjects.J. Vocat. Behav. 34:161–178.
- Hauser, R. M., and Mossel, P. A. (1985). Fraternal resemblance in educational attainment and occupational status.Am. J. Sociol. 91:650–673.
- Hauser, R. M., Tsai, S. L., and Sewell, W. H. (1983). A model of stratification with response error in social and psychological variables.Sociol. Educ.,56:20–46.
- Horn, J. M., Loehlin, J. C., and Willerman, L. (1979). Intellectual resemblance among adoptive and biological relatives: The Texas Adoption Project.Behav. Genet. 12:177–207.
- Horn, J. M., Loehlin, J. C., and Willerman, L. (1982). Aspects of the inheritance of intellectual abilities.Behav. Genet. 12:479–516.
- Kamo, Y., Reis, L. M., Farmer, Y. M., Nickinovich, D. G., and Borgata, E. F. (1991). Lifespan effects of families on achievements.Res. Aging 13:124–143.
- Kent, J. (1985).Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Cognitive Abilities as Assessed by a Telephone Test Battery, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Colorado, Boulder.
- Leibowitz, A. (1978). Family background and economic success. In Taubman, P. (ed.),Kinometrics: The Determinants of Economic Success Within and Between Families, North Holland-Elsevier, New York.
- McCartney, K., Harris, M. J., and Bernieri, F. (1990) Growing up and growing apart: A developmental meta-analysis of twin studies.Psychol. Bull. 107:226–237.
- McClendon, M. J. (1976). The occupational status attainment processes of males and females.Am. Sociol. Rev. 41:52–64.
- Rosenfeld, R. A. (1980). Race and sex differences in career dynamics.Am. Sociol. Rev. 45:583–609.
- Scarr, S. (1981).Race, Social Class, and Individual Differences in IQ, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.
- Scarr, S., and McCartney, K. (1983). How people make their own environments: A theory of genotype → environment effects.Child Dev. 54:424–435.
- Scarr, S., and Weinberg, R. A. (1978). The influence of “family background” on intellectual attainment.Am. Sociol. Rev. 43:674–692.
- Scarr, S., and Weinberg, R. A. (1980). Calling all camps! The war is over,Am. Sociol. Rev. 45:859–864.
- Scarr, S., and Weinberg, R. A. (1983). The Minnesota adoption studies: Malleability and genetic differences.Child Dev. 54:260–267.
- Scarr, S., and Yee, D., (1980). Heritability and educational policy: Genetic and environmental effects on IQ, aptitude, and achievements.Educ. Psychol.,15:1–22.
- Scarr, S., Webber, P. L., Weinberg, R. A., and Wittig, M. A. (1981). Personality resemblance among adolescents and their parents in biologically related and adoptive families.J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 40:885–898.
- Sewell, W. H., and Hauser, R. M. (1975).Education, Occupation and Earnings: Achievement in the Early Career, Academic Press, New York.
- Sewell, W. H., and Hauser, R. M. (1980). The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study of Social and Psychological Factors in Aspirations and Achievements. In Kerckhoff, A. C. (ed.),Research in Sociology of Education and Socialization, Vol. 1, JAI Press, Greenwich, CT.
- Sewell, W. H., and Shah, V. P. (1967). Socioeconomic status, intelligence, and the attainment of higher education.Sociol. Educ. 40:1–23.
- Sewell, W. H., and Shah, V. P. (1968). Parents' education and children's educational aspirations and achievements.Am. Sociol. Rev. 33:191–209.
- Sewell, W. H., Hauser, R. M., and Wolf, W. C. (1980). Sex, schooling, and occupational status.Am. J. Sociol. 86:551–583.
- Smith, T. E. (1991). Agreement of adolescent educational expectations with perceived maternal and paternal educational goals.Youth Soc.,23:155–174.
- Taubman, P. (1976). The determinants of earnings: Genetics, family, and other environment; a study of white, male twins.Am. Econ. Rev.,66:858–870.
- Teasdale, T. W., and Owen, D. R. (1984). Heredity and familial environment in intelligence and educational level — a sibling study.Nature,309:620–622.
- Treiman, D. J., and Terrell, K. (1975). Sex and the process of status attainment: A comparison of working women and men.Am. Sociol. Rev.,40:174–200.
- Vroon, P. A. (1987). Models of educational career with and without IQ measurements.J. Psychol. 121:273–279.
- Educational and occupational achievements of brothers and sisters in adoptive and biologically related families
Volume 24, Issue 4 , pp 301-325
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- Educational achievements
- occupational achievement
- genetic variability in achievements