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      Parental Education Attainment and Educational Upward Mobility; Role of Race and Gender

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          Background. The Minorities’ Diminished Return theory suggests that education attainment and other socioeconomic resources have smaller effects on the health and well-being of African Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities compared to Whites. Racial and ethnic differences in the processes involved with educational upward mobility may contribute to the diminished returns of education attainment for African Americans compared to Whites. Aim: This study compared African Americans and non-Hispanic Whites for the effect of parental education attainment on educational upward mobility and explored gender differences in these effects. Methods. The National Survey of American Life (NSAL 2003) is a nationally representative survey of American adults. Participants included 891 non-Hispanic White and 3570 African American adults. Gender, race/ethnicity, age, highest parental education attainment, and respondents’ educational attainment were measured. Data were analyzed using linear regression models. Results. Overall, higher parental education attainment was associated with higher educational upward mobility (b = 0.34, p < 0.001), however, this boosting effect was significantly smaller for African Americans compared to Whites (b = −0.13, p = 0.003). Our further analysis showed that race by parental education attainment can be found for females (b = −0.14, p = 0.013) but not males ( p > 0.05). Conclusion. African American females are at a disadvantage compared to White females regarding the effect of parental education attainment on their educational upward mobility, a phenomenon which could not be observed when comparing African American and White males. These results advocate for taking intersectionality frameworks to study the effects of race, gender, and class in the US.

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          An integrative model of the conative process, which has important ramifications for psychological need satisfaction and hence for individuals' well-being, is presented. The self-concordance of goals (i.e., their consistency with the person's developing interests and core values) plays a dual role in the model. First, those pursuing self-concordant goals put more sustained effort into achieving those goals and thus are more likely to attain them. Second, those who attain self-concordant goals reap greater well-being benefits from their attainment. Attainment-to-well-being effects are mediated by need satisfaction, i.e., daily activity-based experiences of autonomy, competence, and relatedness that accumulate during the period of striving. The model is shown to provide a satisfactory fit to 3 longitudinal data sets and to be independent of the effects of self-efficacy, implementation intentions, avoidance framing, and life skills.
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            Socioeconomic status and obesity: a review of the literature.

            A review of 144 published studies of the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and obesity reveals a strong inverse relationship among women in developed societies. The relationship is inconsistent for men and children in developed societies. In developing societies, however, a strong direct relationship exists between SES and obesity among men, women, and children. A review of social attitudes toward obesity and thinness reveals values congruent with the distribution of obesity by SES in different societies. Several variables may mediate the influence of attitudes toward obesity and thinness among women in developed societies that result in the inverse relationship between SES and obesity. They include dietary restraint, physical activity, social mobility, and inheritance.
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              Social Stress: Theory and Research


                Author and article information

                Behav Sci (Basel)
                Behav Sci (Basel)
                Behavioral Sciences
                21 November 2018
                November 2018
                : 8
                : 11
                [1 ]Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, 4250 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2700, USA; assari@ ; Tel.: +1-(310)-206-5162
                [2 ]Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health (CRECH), University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2029, USA
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Franz Hall, 502 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
                [4 ]BRITE Center for Science, Research and Policy, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
                © 2018 by the author.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (



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