Parental influence and private school enrollment among children in blended families

Kevin J.A. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, the analysis examines how variations in parental influence shape private school enrollment among children in blended families. The results show that investment in private schooling for children is higher in families with notable parental income differences than in families with parents with similar incomes. Net of these factors, however, parents in nuclear families are more likely to invest in the provision of private schooling compared to parents in blended families. In blended families, the analysis underscores the significance of two dimensions of biological relatedness for developing nuanced understandings of inequalities among children. On average, parents in these families make greater investments in the provision of private schooling for their shared biological children than for their stepchildren, broadly defined. Disaggregating stepchildren based on their own biological ties with parents, however, reveals substantially higher investments in private schooling for stepchildren biologically related to household heads than for either shared biological children or other stepchildren. The advantage of stepchildren with biological ties to household heads is more pronounced in families where household heads earn more than their spouses. However, it remains statistically significant even when the opposite is true.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science Research
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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