The intergenerational transmission of social advantage: Some longitudinal evidence

T Cassidy, Marian McLaughlin, Eimear McDowell

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Intergenerational transmission of disadvantage remains a problem despite political and educational initiatives. The current study explored the role of personality and psychosocial factors in occupational status in a survey of 383 participants (174 males and 209 females) over thirty-nine years from age 16 to age 55 years. Mother’s education, extraversion, and mastery motivation were the best predictors of current socioeconomic status. A focus on education and academic development as the single solution to social immobility has been ineffective. Instead a broader approach which includes realistic lifelong educational opportunities and an education system which enables socioemotional development as well as academic growth is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Education
Early online date6 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 6 Apr 2021


  • Personality; Motivation; Social Mobility; Socioeconomic development


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