Asset Building Financial Inclusion Working Paper

Parental Educational Expectations by Race/Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status

Research has linked parents’ educational expectations to children’s educational attainment, but findings regarding differences in educational expectations by race/ethnicity have been inconsistent. In addition, existing studies have focused on school-age children and their parents. In this study, we examine educational expectations in mothers of newborn children using a state representative sample. a series of logistic regressions are conducted for the full sample (N = 2,572) and for individual racial groups to investigate parental educational expectations by race and Hispanic origin. The study finds that non-Hispanic Whites hold higher educational expectations for their children compared to African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics. However, these differences by race/ethnicity disappear when demographic and socioeconomic measures are controlled. of economic measures, financial assets and health insurance coverage are significantly associated with parental educational expectations. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

The paper was presented during the Assets and Education Symposium, a March 2012 conference cosponsored by the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare and CSD. The symposium was convened to explore the role of savings and asset holding in post-secondary educational achievement. Many of the original conference papers are accessible in the center’s online collection and were subsequently developed for publication in Assets and Educational Attainment: Theory and Evidence, a special issue of Economics of Education Review.

Subsequent publication: Kim, Y., Sherraden, M., & Clancy, M. (2013). Do mothers’ educational expectations differ by race and ethnicity, or socioeconomic status? Economics of Education Review, 33, 82–94.doi:10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.09.007

Project: SEED for Oklahoma Kids


Kim, Y., Sherraden, M., & Clancy, M. (2012). Parental educational expectations by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (CSD Working Paper No. 12-10). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.