Gender Issues

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 31–44

Following in her footsteps: Revisiting the role of maternal education on adolescents’ college plans

  • Lynn A. Addington

DOI: 10.1007/s12147-005-0013-3

Cite this article as:
Addington, L.A. Gend. Issues (2005) 22: 31. doi:10.1007/s12147-005-0013-3


Since the 1980s, women have been graduating from U.S. colleges at a much higher rate than men. Few studies have examined the second-generational benefits of this dramatic increase in college-educated women. The present study revisits the relationship between maternal education and children's college aspirations using nationally representative sample of 12-to 18-year-old adolescents. The results obtained are consistent with expectations that parental education plays a significant role in adolescents' aspirations. Unlike many of the previous studies, though, this research finds maternal education to be a significant predictor for the aspirations of children of both sexes, not just daughters. Although researchers may view as well established the relationship of parental education and children's colege aspirations, the present study suggests the need to revisit this relationship to better understand the effect increases in women's education have had on their children's aspirations as well as enrollment and persistence in post-secondary education.

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn A. Addington
    • 1
  1. 1.Justice, Law, and Society at American UniversityUSA

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