Biosocial correlates of inter-generational social mobility in a british cohort

Journal of Biosocial Science 45 (4):481-496 (2013)
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SummaryThe relationship between inter-generational social mobility of sons and daughters between 1958 and 1991 and biosocial variables, i.e. birth order, number of children in family, father's social class, region, educational attainment of child and father, educational and cognitive test scores, was studied in a large British cohort study. The data used were collected as part of the British National Child Development Study. The extent of social class mobility was determined inter-generationally and was categorized as none, upwardly mobile or downwardly mobile. All of the biosocial variables were associated with social mobility when analysed separately. Multivariate analyses revealed that the most significant predictor of mobility categories in both sexes was education of the cohort member, followed by social class of the father. In both sexes mathematics score was a significant predicator, while in sons reading and non-verbal IQ scores were also important predictors. In the light of these results, it appears that social mobility in Britain takes place largely on meritocratic principles.



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