Divorce Divide or Educational Divide? Parental Education Level and Family Histories as Interwoven Forces in the Reproduction of Social Inequality

Sofie Vanassche, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Nele Havermans, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Koen Matthijs, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven

Educational attainment and family instability are associated in a complex way from an intergenerational perspective. Parent’s educational level is negatively linked to both children’s educational attainment and family instability. Family instability in its turn is associated with a lower educational level of children. As parents’ educational level may also moderate the effects of parental divorce, family instability may therefore strengthen social inequality in society. This complex relationship between educational attainment and family instability is investigated using the Divorce in Flanders survey. First, different measures of family trajectories are developed using sequence analysis. Secondly, we investigate the relation between these family trajectory measures and children’s educational attainment, with specific attention to the potentially moderating effect of parent’s educational level.

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Presented in Session 29: Education and the Life Course