Early home-leaving (HL) and educational attainment: the moderating role of HL in the intergenerational transmission of education
Acta Sociologica, 65:3, 313–331 (2022)
Leaving the parental home is a key step in successful transitions to adulthood. Early home-leaving (HL) is associated with lower educational attainment, but the role of early versus later home-leaving in the intergenerational transmission of education has not been assessed in previous research. We used a longitudinal register-based total sample of families in Finland to examine whether the association between parental and offspring education differs between early (below age 19) and later home-leavers, including a comparison between early and later leaving siblings. We found the lower probability of completing any secondary degree among early leavers to be larger among those with lower-educated than higher-educated parents. In contrast, in continuing to tertiary-level education, the educational disadvantage among early leavers was much larger among offspring of the higher-educated parents. Differences by HL across levels of parental education persisted adjustment for other parental and childhood resources, although only modest evidence of moderation was found when comparing early and later leaving siblings. Our findings on weaker intergenerational transmission of education among early leavers with an advantaged background, and accumulation of disadvantage among early leavers with less advantaged background suggest that timing of HL has an independent role in educational inequalities.