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Parental alcohol consumption and adult children’s educational attainment

A study published in the journal Economics & Human Biology looks at the long term impact of parental alcohol consumption on education and suggests that having a problem drinking mother hampers years of education, education grade and university degree.

The study analysed whether an excessive parental alcohol consumption during childhood can affect children’s educational attainments long term.

Using 19 waves of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), where individuals and their families are followed from childhood to adulthood, the study analysed parental alcohol consumption during childhood (between 1994 and 2001) and its relation with children’s educational attainment about twelve years later (from 2005 to 2014).

The results indicate that a mother’s excessive alcohol consumption during childhood is consistently negatively associated with children educational outcomes, as years of education, the highest education grade achieved and the probability of having a tertiary education degree, a finding that is robust to possible endogeneity issues. In particular, while moderate drinking is not an issue, an additional standard glass of vodka (15.57 g of pure alcohol) consumed by the mother per day, reduces years of education by almost one year (0.88), and the probability of having a university degree by 27%. The study also explores the transmission mechanisms suggested by the literature, identifying a significant role for prenatal exposure to alcohol and, to a lesser extent, for intergenerational transmission of drinking habits.

Source: Parental alcohol consumption and adult children’s educational attainment. Mangiavacchi L, Piccoli L. Econ Hum Biol. 2018 Feb;28:132-145 doi.org/10.1016/j. ehb.2017.12.006

doi.org/10.1016/j. ehb.2017.12.006

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