Intergenerational Continuity in Attitudes: A Latent Variable Family Fixed-Effects Approach

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Abstract

Attitudes are associated with behavior. Adolescents raised by parents who endorse particular attitudes are relatively more likely to endorse those same attitudes. The present study addresses conditions that would moderate intergenerational continuity in attitudes across 6 domains: authoritative parenting, conventional life goals, gender egalitarianism, deviancy, abortion, and sexual permissiveness. Hypothesized moderators included the attitudes of the other parent, and adolescent sex. Data come from a 2-generation study of a cohort of 451 adolescents (52% female), a close-aged sibling, and their parents. After employing a novel specification in which family fixed-effect models partitioned out variation at the between-family level, hypotheses were tested on the within-family variance. Unlike typical family fixed-effect models, this specification accounted for measurement error. Intergenerational continuity was not significant (deviancy), negative (sexual permissiveness), and conditional on the attitudes of the coparent (authoritative parenting, conventional life goals, and gender egalitarianism). Adolescent age, sex, and conscientiousness were accounted for in all analyses.

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