What can parents do? The causal mediating role of parenting in explaining SES differences in children's language development





parenting, language skills, causal mediation, social inequality


Objective: This study estimates how much of the differences by socioeconomic status (SES) in children’s language development are mediated by parenting styles, parenting practices, and parental investments.

Background: There are large differences in children’s language development by parental socioeconomic status (SES). According to some studies, SES gaps in language skills among preschoolers could be reduced substantially by intervening in the parenting styles, practices, and parental investments of low-SES parents. However, the extent to which parenting mediates the effects on language skills of growing up in low-SES contexts is still unknown.

Method: This paper uses data from the National Educational Panel Study starting cohort 1, a random sample of children born between 2012 and 2013 in Germany and employs interventional causal mediation analysis to estimate the mediated share of the total effect of SES on children’s language that goes through parenting, broadly understood.

Results: Parenting explains around one-third of the total effect of SES on early language skills, but close to nothing of the effect on later language skills.

Conclusion: Although a share of the SES effect operates through parenting, and all parenting dimensions affect children’s language skills, interventions in parenting would be limited in their ability to reduce the gap in substantial ways. Alternative pathways, through which inequality in language skills is reproduced, could potentially explain a larger share of this effect.


Attig, M., & Weinert, S. (2020). What impacts early language skills? Effects of social disparities and different process characteristics of the home learning environment in the first 2 years. Frontiers in Psychology, 11: 3218. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.557751

Ayoub, C., Vallotton, C. D., & Mastergeorge, A. M. (2011). Developmental pathways to integrated social skills: The roles of parenting and early intervention. Child Development, 82(2): 583–600. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01549.x

Baumrind, D. (2005). Patterns of parental authority and adolescent autonomy. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 2005(108): 61–69. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/cd.128

Bear, G. G., & Minke, K. M. (2006). Children’s needs III: Development, prevention, and intervention. National Association of School Psychologists.

Becker, B. (2011). Cognitive and language skills of Turkish children in Germany: A comparison of the second and third generation and mixed generational groups. International Migration Review, 45(2): 426–459. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-7379.2011.00853.x

Becker, G. S. (2009). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education. University of Chicago press. https://www.nber.org/books-and-chapters/human-capital-theoretical-and-empirical-analysis-special-reference-education-third-edition.

Berendes, K., Weinert, S., Zimmermann, S., & Artelt, C. (2013). Assessing language indicators across the lifespan within the German national educational panel study (NEPS). Journal for Educational Research Online, 5(2): 15–49.

Berge, J. M., Wall, M., Bauer, K. W., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2010). Parenting characteristics in the home environment and adolescent overweight: A latent class analysis. Obesity, 18(4): 818–825. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2009.324

Berger, L. M., Paxson, C., & Waldfogel, J. (2009). Income and child development. Children and Youth Services Review, 31(9): 978–989. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2009.04.013

Bernstein, B. (1964). Elaborated and restricted codes: Their social origins and some consequences. American Anthropologist, 66(6): 55–69. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/aa.1964.66.suppl_3.02a00030

Bihagen, E., & Lambert, P. (2018). Can class and status really be disentangled? Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 58: 1–10. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rssm.2018.08.001

Blossfeld, H.-P., Roßbach, H.-G., & Maurice, J. von. (2011). Education as a lifelong process – the German national educational panel study (NEPS). Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 14(2): 19–34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11618-011-0179-2

Bornstein, M. H. (2012). Cultural approaches to parenting. Parenting, 12(2-3): 212–221. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2012.683359

Bourdieu, P. (1984). La distinction. Paris: Editions de minuit, 1979. Trans. By Richard Nice as Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP.

Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Harvard University Press.

Bradley, R. H., & Corwyn, R. F. (2002). Socioeconomic status and child development. Annual Review of Psychology, 53(1): 371–399. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135233

Brandone, A. C., Salkind, S. J., Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2006). Language development.

Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2007). The bioecological model of human development. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of Child Psychology, Volume 1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470147658.chpsy0114

Burgette, L. F., & Reiter, J. P. (2010). Multiple imputation for missing data via sequential regression trees. American Journal of Epidemiology, 172(9): 1070–1076. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwq260

Chan, T. W., & Koo, A. (2011). Parenting style and youth outcomes in the UK. European Sociological Review, 27(3): 385–399. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcq013

Cina, A., Bodenmann, G., Hahlweg, K., Dirscherl, T., & Sanders, M. R. (2006). Triple p (positive parenting program): Theoretischer und empirischer Hintergrund und erste Erfahrungen im deutschsprachigen Raum. Zeitschrift für Familienforschung, 18(1): 66–88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-329

Cobb-Clark, D. A., Salamanca, N., & Zhu, A. (2019). Parenting style as an investment in human development. Journal of Population Economics, 32(4): 1315–1352. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00148-018-0703-2

Conger, R. D., Conger, K. J., & Martin, M. J. (2010). Socioeconomic status, family processes, and individual development. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3): 685–704. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00725.x

Cunha, F., Heckman, J. J., & Schennach, S. M. (2010). Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation. Econometrica, 78(3): 883–931. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA6551

Darling, N., & Steinberg, L. (1993). Parenting style as context: An integrative model. Psychological Bulletin, 113(3): 487. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.113.3.487

Davoli, M., & Entorf, H. (2018). The PISA shock, socioeconomic inequality, and school reforms in Germany. IZA Policy Paper. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-9863-6_4

Dermott, E., & Pomati, M. (2016). ’Good’ parenting practices: How important are poverty, education and time pressure? Sociology, 50(1): 125–142. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038514560260

Doepke, M., Sorrenti, G., & Zilibotti, F. (2019). The economics of parenting. Annual Review of Economics, 11: 55–84. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-080218-030156

Doepke, M., & Zilibotti, F. (2017). Parenting with style: Altruism and paternalism in intergenerational preference transmission. Econometrica, 85(5): 1331–1371. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3982/ECTA14634

Dollaghan, C. A., Campbell, T. F., Paradise, J. L., Feldman, H. M., Janosky, J. E., Pitcairn, D. N., & Kurs-Lasky, M. (1999). Maternal education and measures of early speech and language. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 42(6): 1432–1443. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1044/jslhr.4206.1432

Dräger, J. (2022). The role of parental wealth in children’s educational pathways in Germany. European Sociological Review, 38(1): 18–36. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcab027

Duncan, G. J., Yeung, W. J., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Smith, J. R. (1998). How much does childhood poverty affect the life chances of children? American Sociological Review: 406–423. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2657556

Duncan, G. J., Ziol-Guest, K. M., & Kalil, A. (2010). Early-childhood poverty and adult attainment, behavior, and health. Child Development, 81(1): 306–325. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01396.x

Elliott, S., & Bowen, S. (2018). Defending motherhood: Morality, responsibility, and double binds in feeding children. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(2): 499–520. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12465

Evans, G. (1992). Testing the validity of the Goldthorpe class schema. European Sociological Review, 8(3): 211–232. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.esr.a036638

Fomby, P., & Musick, K. (2018). Mothers’ time, the parenting package, and links to healthy child development. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(1): 166–181. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12432

Gillies, V. (2005). Raising the “meritocracy” parenting and the individualization of social class. Sociology, 39(5): 835–853. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038505058368

Goldfeld, S., O’Connor, M., Cloney, D., Gray, S., Redmond, G., Badland, H., Williams, K., Mensah, F., Woolfenden, S., & Kvalsvig, A. (2018). Understanding child disadvantage from a social determinants perspective. J Epidemiol Community Health, 72(3): 223–229. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2017-209036

Goldthorpe, J. H. (2010). Class analysis and the reorientation of class theory: The case of persisting differentials in educational attainment 1. The British Journal of Sociology, 61: 311–335. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-4446.2009.01248.x

Goldthorpe, J. H. (2021). Class and status in interwar England: Current issues in the light of a historical case. The British Journal of Sociology, 72(2): 239–251. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12791

Goodman, R., Ford, T., Simmons, H., Gatward, R., & Meltzer, H. (2000). Using the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) to screen for child psychiatric disorders in a community sample. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 177(6): 534–539. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.177.6.534

Grimm, H., & Doil, H. (2006). ELFRA 2-Elternfragebogen für zweijährige Kinder.

Grusec, J. E. (2011). Socialization processes in the family: Social and emotional development. Annual Review of Psychology, 62: 243–269. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.121208.131650

Guo, G., & Harris, K. M. (2000). The mechanisms mediating the effects of poverty on children’s intellectual development. Demography, 37(4): 431–447. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.2000.0005

Hagenaars, J. A., & McCutcheon, A. L. (2002). Applied latent class analysis. Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511499531

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Paul H Brookes Publishing.

Hauser, R. M., & Warren, J. R. (1997). Socioeconomic indexes for occupations: A review, update, and critique. Sociological Methodology, 27(1): 177–298. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9531.271028

Heckman, J. J. (2006). Skill formation and the economics of investing in disadvantaged children. Science, 312(5782): 1900–1902. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1128898

Heckman, J. J., Humphries, J. E., & Kautz, T. (Eds.). (2014). The myth of achievement tests: The GED and the role of character in American life (p. 472). University of Chicago Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226100128.001.0001

Heckman, J., Holland, M., Makino, K., Olds, D., Pinto, R., & Rosales-Rueda, M. (2014). The nurse family partnership program: A reanalysis of the Memphis randomized controlled trial. University of Chicago Working Paper.

Heinrich, C. J. (2014). Parents’ employment and children’s wellbeing. The Future of Children, 24(1): 121–146. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/foc.2014.0000

Hoff, E. (2003). The specificity of environmental influence: Socioeconomic status affects early vocabulary development via maternal speech. Child Development, 74(5): 1368–1378. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00612

Hoff, E. (2013). Interpreting the early language trajectories of children from low-SES and language minority homes: Implications for closing achievement gaps. Developmental Psychology, 49(1): 4. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027238

Hoff, E., & Laursen, B. (2019). Socioeconomic status and parenting. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1995-98624-007; Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Hollingshead, A. (2011). Four factor index of social status. Yale Journal of Sociology, 8.

Ishizuka, P. (2019). Social class, gender, and contemporary parenting standards in the United States: Evidence from a national survey experiment. Social Forces, 98(1): 31–58. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soy107

Kalil, A., & Mayer, S. E. (2016). Understanding the importance of parental time with children: Comment on Milkie, Nomaguchi, and Denny (2015). Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(1): 262. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12261

Kalil, A., Ryan, R., & Chor, E. (2014). Time investments in children across family structures. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 654(1): 150–168. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716214528276

Kalil, A., Ryan, R., & Corey, M. (2012). Diverging destinies: Maternal education and the developmental gradient in time with children. Demography, 49(4): 1361–1383. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-012-0129-5

Keller, H., Lamm, B., Abels, M., Yovsi, R., Borke, J., Jensen, H., Papaligoura, Z., Holub, C., Lo, W., & Tomiyama, A. J. (2006). Cultural models, socialization goals, and parenting ethnotheories: A multicultural analysis. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37(2): 155–172. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022105284494

Kuchirko, Y. (2019). On differences and deficits: A critique of the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of the word gap. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 19(4): 533–562. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1468798417747029

Kuhl, P. K. (2004). Early language acquisition: Cracking the speech code. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5(11): 831–843. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn1533

Kuppens, S., & Ceulemans, E. (2019). Parenting styles: A closer look at a well-known concept. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(1): 168–181. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-018-1242-x

Lahire, B. (2019). Enfance de classe. Seuil.

Lareau, A. (2011). Unequal childhoods: Class, race, and family life. Univ of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520949904

Lehrl, S., Ebert, S., Roßbach, H.-G., & Weinert, S. (2012). Die Bedeutung der familiären Lernumwelt für Vorläufer schriftsprachlicher Kompetenzen im Vorschulalter: Effects of the home learning environment on children’s emerging literacy. Journal of Family Research, 24(2): 115–133. DOI: https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-181

Lesniewska, J., Pichette, F., & Béland, S. (2018). First language test bias? Comparing French-speaking and polish-speaking participants’ performance on the peabody picture vocabulary test. Canadian Modern Language Review, 74(1): 27–52. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.3670

Letiecq, B. L. (2019). Surfacing family privilege and supremacy in family science: Toward justice for all. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 11(3): 398–411. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jftr.12338

Linberg, A. (2018). Interaktion zwischen Mutter und Kind: Dimensionen, Bedingungen und Effekte. Waxmann Verlag.

Linberg, A., Mann, D., Attig, M., Vogel, F., Weinert, S., & Roßbach, H.-G. (2019). Assessment of interactions with the macro-analytic rating system of parent-child-interactions in the NEPS at the child’s age of 7, 17, and 26 months. NEPS Survey Paper No. 51.

Linberg, T., Schneider, T., Waldfogel, J., & Wang, Y. (2019). Socioeconomic status gaps in child cognitive development in Germany and the United States. Social Science Research, 79: 1–31. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2018.11.002

Maccoby, E. E. (1994). The role of parents in the socialization of children: An historical overview. In R. D. Parke, P. A. Ornstein, J. J. Rieser, & C. Zahn-Waxler (Eds.), A century of developmental psychology (pp. 589–615). American Psychological Association. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/10155-021

Maccoby, E. E. (2000). Parenting and its effects on children: On reading and misreading behavior genetics. Annual Review of Psychology, 51(1): 1–27. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.51.1.1

Madigan, S., Prime, H., Graham, S. A., Rodrigues, M., Anderson, N., Khoury, J., & Jenkins, J. M. (2019). Parenting behavior and child language: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 144(4): e20183556. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-3556

Maggi, S., Irwin, L. J., Siddiqi, A., & Hertzman, C. (2010). The social determinants of early child development: An overview. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(11): 627–635. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1754.2010.01817.x

Manstead, A. S. (2018). The psychology of social class: How socioeconomic status impacts thought, feelings, and behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 57(2): 267–291. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/bjso.12251

Mayer, S. E., Kalil, A., Oreopoulos, P., & Gallegos, S. (2019). Using behavioral insights to increase parental engagement the parents and children together intervention. Journal of Human Resources, 54(4): 900–925. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3368/jhr.54.4.0617.8835R

Melhuish, E. C., Phan, M. B., Sylva, K., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2008). Effects of the home learning environment and preschool center experience upon literacy and numeracy development in early primary school. Journal of Social Issues, 64(1): 95–114. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.2008.00550.x

Merz, E. C., Maskus, E. A., Melvin, S. A., He, X., & Noble, K. G. (2020). Socioeconomic disparities in language input are associated with children’s language-related brain structure and reading skills. Child Development, 91(3): 846–860. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13239

Milkie, M. A., Nomaguchi, K. M., & Denny, K. E. (2015). Does the amount of time mothers spend with children or adolescents matter? Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(2): 355–372. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12170

Milkie, M. A., Raley, S. B., & Bianchi, S. M. (2009). Taking on the second shift: Time allocations and time pressures of US parents with preschoolers. Social Forces, 88(2): 487–517. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/sof.0.0268

Miller, D. P., Thomas, M. M., Waller, M. R., Nepomnyaschy, L., & Emory, A. D. (2020). Father involvement and socioeconomic disparities in child academic outcomes. Journal of Marriage and Family, 82(2): 515–533. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12666

Millet, M., & Croizet, J.-C. (2016). L’école des incapables? La maternelle, un apprentissage de la domination (p. 225). La Dispute.

Mollborn, S. (2016). Young children’s developmental ecologies and kindergarten readiness. Demography, 53(6): 1853–1882. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13524-016-0528-0

Nauck, B., & Lotter, V. (2015). Parenting styles and perceived instrumentality of schooling in native, Turkish, and Vietnamese families in Germany. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 18(4): 845–869. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11618-015-0630-x

Nguyen, T. Q., Schmid, I., & Stuart, E. A. (2021). Clarifying causal mediation analysis for the applied researcher: Defining effects based on what we want to learn. Psychological Methods, 26(2): 255. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/met0000299

Nielsen, M., Haun, D., Kärtner, J., & Legare, C. H. (2017). The persistent sampling bias in developmental psychology: A call to action. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 162: 31–38. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.04.017

Nomaguchi, K., & Milkie, M. A. (2020). Parenthood and well-being: A decade in review. Journal of Marriage and Family, 82(1): 198–223. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12646

Nomaguchi, K., Milkie, M. A., & Denny, K. E. (2016). Quantity of maternal time and child and adolescent development: Response to Kalil and Mayer (2016) and to Waldfogel (2016). Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(1): 269. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12258

Ochs, E., & Kremer-Sadlik, T. (2015). How postindustrial families talk. Annual Review of Anthropology, 44: 87–103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102214-014027

Pace, A., Luo, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2017). Identifying pathways between socioeconomic status and language development. Annual Review of Linguistics, 3: 285–308. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011516-034226

Perkins, S. C., Finegood, E. D., & Swain, J. E. (2013). Poverty and language development: Roles of parenting and stress. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 10(4): 10.

Price, J. (2010). The effect of parental time investments: Evidence from natural within-family variation. Unpublished Manuscript, Brigham Young University.

Pungello, E. P., Iruka, I. U., Dotterer, A. M., Mills-Koonce, R., & Reznick, J. S. (2009). The effects of socioeconomic status, race, and parenting on language development in early childhood. Developmental Psychology, 45(2): 544. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/a0013917

Robins, J. (1986). A new approach to causal inference in mortality studies with a sustained exposure period—application to control of the healthy worker survivor effect. Mathematical Modelling, 7(9-12): 1393–1512. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0270-0255(86)90088-6

Romeo, R. R., Leonard, J. A., Robinson, S. T., West, M. R., Mackey, A. P., Rowe, M. L., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2018). Beyond the 30-million-word gap: Children’s conversational exposure is associated with language-related brain function. Psychological Science, 29(5): 700–710. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797617742725

Roßbach, H.-G., Tietze, W., & Weinert, S. (2005). Peabody picture vocabulary test-revised. Deutsche Forschungsversion des Tests von LM Dunn & LM Dunn von 1981. Pearson.

Sachse, S., & Von Suchodoletz, W. (2007). Diagnostische Zuverlässigkeit einer Kurzversion des Elternfragebogens ELFRA-2 zur Früherkennung von Sprachentwicklungsverzögerungen. Klinische Pädiatrie, 219: 76–81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2006-942174

Savage, M., Devine, F., Cunningham, N., Taylor, M., Li, Yaojun, Hjellbrekke, J., Le Roux, Brigitte., Friedman, S., & Miles, A. (2013). A new model of social class? Findings from the BBC’s great British class survey experiment. Sociology, 47(2): 219–250. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038513481128

Schneider, D., Hastings, O. P., & LaBriola, J. (2018). Income inequality and class divides in parental investments. American Sociological Review, 83(3): 475–507. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122418772034

Schneider, T., & Linberg, T. (2021). Development of socio-economic gaps in children’s language skills in Germany. Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/175795921X16233448663756

Schober, P., & Schmitt, C. (2017). Day-care availability, maternal employment and satisfaction of parents: Evidence from cultural and policy variations in Germany. Journal of European Social Policy, 27(5): 433–446. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0958928716688264

Shi, B., Choirat, C., Coull, B. A., VanderWeele, T. J., & Valeri, L. (2021). CMAverse: A suite of functions for reproducible causal mediation analyses. Epidemiology, 32(5): e20–e22. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0000000000001378

Shonkoff, J. P. (2011). Protecting brains, not simply stimulating minds. Science, 333(6045): 982–983. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1206014

Shonkoff, J. P., & McCoy, D. C. (2021). Raising the bar for evaluating effectiveness of early childhood interventions. Pediatrics, 148(4). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2021-052326

Skopek, J., & Passaretta, G. (2020). Socioeconomic inequality in children’s achievement from infancy to adolescence: The case of Germany. Social Forces, 100(1): 86–112. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/soaa093

Sommer, A., & Mann, D. (2015). Qualität elterlichen Interaktionsverhaltens: Erfassung von Interaktionen mithilfe der Eltern-Kind-Interaktions Einschätzskala im Nationalen Bildungspanel. Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsverläufe, Nationales Bildungspanel. Bamberg.

Sorkhabi, N., & Mandara, J. (2013). Are the effects of Baumrind’s parenting styles culturally specific or culturally equivalent? In R. E. Larzelere, A. S. Morris, & A. W. Harrist (Eds.), Authoritative parenting: Synthesizing nurturance and discipline for optimal child development (pp. 113–135). American Psychological Association. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1037/13948-006

Spera, C. (2005). A review of the relationship among parenting practices, parenting styles, and adolescent school achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2): 125–146. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-005-3950-1

Stockman, I. J. (2000). The new peabody picture vocabulary test-III: An illusion of unbiased assessment? Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 31(4): 340–353. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1044/0161-1461.3104.340

Sullivan, A., Ketende, S., & Joshi, H. (2013). Social class and inequalities in early cognitive scores. Sociology, 47(6): 1187–1206. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0038038512461861

Thaning, M., & Hällsten, M. (2020). The end of dominance? Evaluating measures of socio-economic background in stratification research. European Sociological Review, 36(4): 533–547. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcaa009

Ulferts, H. (2020). Why parenting matters for children in the 21st century: An evidence-based framework for understanding parenting and its impact on child development. OECD Education Working Papers.

VanderWeele, T. (2015). Explanation in causal inference: Methods for mediation and interaction. Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyw277

VanderWeele, T. J., & Tchetgen Tchetgen, E. J. (2017). Mediation analysis with time varying exposures and mediators. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Statistical Methodology), 79(3): 917–938. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/rssb.12194

VanderWeele, T., & Vansteelandt, S. (2014). Mediation analysis with multiple mediators. Epidemiologic Methods, 2(1): 95–115. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/em-2012-0010

Vernon-Feagans, L., Garrett-Peters, P., Willoughby, M., & Mills-Koonce, R. (2012). Chaos, poverty, and parenting: Predictors of early language development. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 27(3): 339–351. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecresq.2011.11.001

Waldfogel, J. (2016). How important is parental time? It depends: Comment on Milkie, Nomaguchi, and Denny (2015). Journal of Marriage and Family, 78(1): 266. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12259

Walper, S. (2021). Parenting in Germany. https://www.bmfsfj.de/resource/blob/183228/4389623f20a8b41f1950a3fa7edce354/parenting-in-germany-9-fb-englisch-data.pdf

Weininger, E. B., & Lareau, A. (2009). Paradoxical pathways: An ethnographic extension of Kohn’s findings on class and childrearing. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71(3): 680–695. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00626.x

Widom, C. S. (2014). Longterm consequences of child maltreatment. In J. E. Korbin & R. D. Krugman (Eds.), Handbook of child maltreatment (pp. 225–247). Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7208-3_12

Young, R., & Johnson, D. R. (2015). Handling missing values in longitudinal panel data with multiple imputation. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(1): 277–294. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12144

Zinn, S., Würbach, A., Steinhauer, H. W., & Hammon, A. (2020). Attrition and selectivity of the NEPS starting cohorts: An overview of the past 8 years. AStA Wirtschafts-Und Sozialstatistisches Archiv, 14(2): 163–206. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11943-020-00268-7


Additional Files



How to Cite

Rodríguez Sánchez, A. (2023). What can parents do? The causal mediating role of parenting in explaining SES differences in children’s language development. Journal of Family Research, 35, 53–84. https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-688