Parental media socialization and educational attainment: resource or disadvantage?

N. Notten, G. Kraaykamp

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This article analyzes the long-term effects of parental media socialization on children’s educational attainment. Data on 8316 individuals from 3257 families in the Netherlands is used to estimate hierarchical models that distinguish between family-specific (socialization) and individual-level effects. The study reveals that parental reading and television socialization plays a meaningful role in predicting children’s success in education. Whereas parental time spent viewing television is disadvantageous for a child’s educational career, parental reading intensity enhances educational success. Moreover, not only does media exposure play a relevant role, the content of parental media consumption also matters. Parents who prefer highbrow literature benefit their children’s educational career, whereas a preference for watching popular TV programs is disadvantageous for a child’s educational success. Next to the parental example of media consumption, media guidance provided by parents is scrutinized. Results indicate that parent-child interactions on reading positively affect children’s educational attainment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-464
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Multilevel analysis
  • Cultural resources
  • Family background
  • Educational attainment
  • Parental media socialization

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