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Original scientific paper

How Far Does the Apple Fall from the Tree? The Relationship between Childrens Educational Achievement and the Educational Level of their Parents

Josip BURUŠIĆ orcid id ; Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb
Toni BABAROVIĆ ; Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb
Nenad MARKOVIĆ ; National Centre for External Evaluation of Education, Zagreb

Full text: croatian pdf 279 Kb

page 709-730

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Many studies on various determinants of educational
attainment have been conducted. A significant number of
researchers put their attention to the issue of transgenerational
determinants of educational achievement,
attempting to describe, explain and understand the
relationship of educational attainment of parents and
educational achievement of their descendants. In this
research the relationship between student achievement and
parents education level is examined at the end of two levels
of primary compulsory education in Croatia at the end of
grade 4 (age 10) and grade 8 (age 14). Students'
achievement is operationalized by their results in a series of
standardized school-subject-knowledge tests. The study
included 48,232 students in grade four and 46,196 students
in grade eight of all 844 regular elementary schools in
Croatia, which gives additional importance to the results.
The obtained results testify in favor of the existence of
substantial relationship between student achievement and
educational levels of their parents. In all comparisons done,
students with more educated parents had significantly better
academic achievement than students with lower levels of
parents education. The results do not provide support for
different effects of educational level of mother or father on
their childrens achievement. Furthermore, it does not provide
stronger support for the partial relationship between father's
educational level and achievement of their sons and mother's
education level and achievements of their daughters or vice
versa. In the paper, the possible implications of these results
were discussed.


school dropout; elementary school; educational achievement; human capital; educational equality

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