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Neighbourhood, school and family determinants of children's aspirations in primary school

Flouri, E; Tsivrikos, D; Akhtar, R; Midouhas, E; (2015) Neighbourhood, school and family determinants of children's aspirations in primary school. Journal of Vocational Behavior , 87 pp. 71-79. 10.1016/j.jvb.2014.12.006. Green open access

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Abstract

Aspirations can be important for young children as well as adolescents. However, there is little research on the determinants of aspirations in young children. We carried out this study to investigate the early contextual (neighbourhood, school and family) determinants of occupational aspirations in primary school children. Our sample comprised children from the Millennium Cohort Study who lived in England in the beginning of our study period (n = 10,086; 5,126 boys). Occupational aspirations were measured at age 7 years, while their contextual determinants were measured in the previous data sweeps, at ages 3 and 5 years. We fitted structural equation models to test the role of family and neighbourhood socio-economic status (SES) and child ethnicity in predicting aspirations both directly and via their associations with parental involvement, household chaos, school-level achievement and child cognitive ability. We found that the only significant determinants of aspirations at age 7 years were family SES and ethnicity, and only in boys. Family SES and ethnicity were also related to parental involvement, household chaos, cognitive ability and school-level achievement, but none of these factors predicted aspirations. Supplementary analysis showed that family SES was a particularly powerful determinant of the aspirations of white compared to non-white boys.

Type: Article
Title: Neighbourhood, school and family determinants of children's aspirations in primary school
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2014.12.006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2014.12.006
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Aspirations, Children, Family socio-economic status, Neighbourhoods, Schools
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1480871
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