Family Closeness and Mental States During Youth: do they influence life outcomes?

Publication type

Conference Paper


Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics Conference


Publication date

June 28, 2001


While many studies examine the determinants of life outcomes such as income, few take into consideration the impact of childhood experiences on influencing the ambitions and later social position of children. This paper examines whether youths' relationships with their family and friends, depression, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life are significant predictors of social position outcomes in later life. It is hypothesised that low levels of family closeness, low levels of social support, and negative mental states during youth will be negatively influence adult social position. These hypotheses are tested using youth panel data from Canada and Great Britain. The findings suggest that measures of family upbringing and childhood social psychological scores may be important predictors of life chances and should be considered in future models. Theoretical explanations are offered.



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