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Class and Conformity: Thirty Years of Adult Child‐rearing Values in the U.S


Sociological Forum

Published online on


["Sociological Forum, EarlyView. ", "\nThis paper investigates trends in adult child‐rearing values in the United States over a 30‐year period, from the mid‐1980s into the first decades of the 21st century. Using data from the General Social Surveys, we report trends in emphasis on five child traits: think for self, obey, work hard, popularity, and helping others. Independent of the time of the surveys, child‐rearing values are associated with several individual attributes: gender, schooling level, occupational class, birth year, race/ethnicity, region, party identification, religious affiliation, and religiosity. Socioeconomic factors continue to be among the most important, but contrary to many arguments, occupational class, as measured by Weeden–Grusky micro‐classes, has a relatively less important role in predicting child‐rearing values, once education is taken into account. Religious variables are also important, less so than socioeconomic factors, but there is support for the hypothesis of the growing strength over time in the impact of religious conservatism and participation.\n"]