Parenting practices, non-cognitive skills, and academic success


Tavares, Lara (2010). Parenting practices, non-cognitive skills, and academic success. 2010 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


In this paper we analyze what parents do (as opposed to who they are) as a determinant of their offspring's educational attainment. In doing so, we explore parenting as a source of economic (dis)advantage. We also look at the influence of parenting on the development of the children's non-cognitive skills (NCS) in early and middle adolescence. By looking at parenting practices as a form of parental investment, we also explore the ways through which parenting affects children outcomes. We use the in-home (Waves I, II and III), the parents' and School Administrator's questionnaires, and the graduation and education files. Educational attainment is measured by the highest educational qualification. The measure of NCS used (attitude towards learning) was constructed using insights from the five-factor model of personality. The estimates of a two stage model of skill formation show that when attitude towards learning increases by one s.d. the probability of not graduating from high school drops to less than one-half and the probability of having a Bachelor's degree or attending college more than doubles. There is also a statistically significant association between parenting and both educational attainment and the NCS formation.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2010 Add Health Users Conference


Tavares, Lara

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID