Buriedor ignored discussionon SES

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Buriedor ignored discussionon SES
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Sun, 03-30-2003 - 8:49am
I prefer to believe it was buried. CLW believes that SES is one of the key determining factors in how a kid turns out. I am cutting and pasting my post here..

Where? What studies? What are the criteria for turning out "well"? Is it only earnings? I am still waiting to see all of this research and I am not sure how, aside from finances, turning out well could be quantified. Would my friend, the dd of a high earning succesful business man, who dropped out of college, took an average job and spends a great portion of her time volunteering at women's shelters have turned out well? Would she not have turned out well because her earnings dropped her down in SES from where she started? Would the guy who hates what he does but earns more than his high earning parents meet the criteria for turning out well?

SUS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:21am
Well, coming from a very loaw SES to a mediocre one now, I don't think SES has much to do with how you turn out. There maybe more "opportunities" with a higher SES, but kids turn out the way they do for many reasons, not just SES.

I think I turned out VERY well, and I came from a very, very low income family. We raised PIGs for goodness sakes(but my mom was a teacher). But I had strong, loving, parents, who valued education, family and morals, and those, it seems to me are much more important in the "turn out" factors of children than SES is. On the other hand, I have relatives who are extremely wealthy, and their kids ended up on drugs, alcoholics, in jail, or dead, they were not happy, well adjusted kids.

We preached for years how important a college education was to our ds. He didn't want to go!!!! PERIOD... but dh kept telling him how NOT having a college degree could mean a life of low paying, low skill, physical labor jobs (like dh has had) and how much more money he could make with a college degree. WELL! ds said....you guys don't make a lot of money, you don't have a lot of "stuff", don't owe anybody any money...and you're HAPPY! correct???? Well, why do I need to make a lot of money to be happy and have a good family? And he's right..but he's also in college because HE decided to do it (and then only to play baseball so there ya have it.)

By the way, I got so much work done this week...NOT checking the boards and reading about all your lives, feeling sorry for myself that these changes are so hard. I even read 3 books in between all the actual work I got done. So change must be good?????

Lorri

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Avatar for virgogirl914
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:51am
I just want to point out here that SES (Socio-economic status) refers to SOCIAL as well as economic status, not just how wealthy one is.

By definition, SES typically refers to level of education, skill or prestige of ones occupation, and income.

For example, my maternal grandfather had a low level of education, but a highly sought after skill (he made exquisite cabinetry), and managed his income well. Overall, his family had a good SES for their area.

Southers- if your mother was a teacher, you may not have had a high level of income as a child, but as a teacher she had a high level of education and a respected profession. . .thus raising your SES.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:58am
To clarify, I never claimed SES is THE determining factor. Just that it is one of the determining factors and it's big enough that researchers feel a need to, as a matter of routine, correct research data for SES. In the recent study on school readiness of 3yo's, the data for the WM's was adjusted down twice. Once to account for the impact of SES on school readiness of children and once to correct for the impact of the increase in eduction among WM's.

No, I don't believe that SES is the end all be all but I do believe it impacts how our kids turn out in that it can stack the deck in their favor. Higher SES means more opportunities. Higher SES often means better educated parents. Higher SES often means you grow up in a better neighborhood and attend better schools. SES affects many aspects of our lives including how well we parent. As I stated below, back when we lived hand to mouth in a much lower SES, the primary concern was making the budget work and that is exhausting. It can be hard to have energy left to be a good parent when you're stressed all the time about money.

How has moving from lower middle income to higher middle income helped my kids compared to how their brothers were raised? My girls live in a better neighborhood and attend better schools. They're both enrolled in Yamaha school to capitalize on the link between logical reasoning skills and musical ability (something I couldn't have afforded for the boys). Mom and dad are a lot less stressed because the finances are much easier and have more energy to parent. These things and more will impact how my girls turn out. They will impact how well they learn in school and how far they will go among other things. Sometimes I think the boys raised themselves while their father and I eeked out a living. As far as I'm concerned, there's a big difference from where I was then to where I am now that is due to finances.

I don't know if you know anything about Maslow's (sp?) hierachy of needs but it says that until you meet your basic needs, you cannot consider higher order needs. I can concentrate on higher order needs for my kids because I'm not consumed with concern for how I'm going to meet their basic needs and whether or not the next car repair will be the one to push us over. I know first hand that SES matters. Which is why researchers correct for it before discussing data.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 10:02am
I answered this below. The proof is in the fact that researchers, routinely, correct for the SES impact that moms working has on her family before they release data. The wouldn't do this if they didn't know and accept that SES matters.
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 11:11am
But you said research shows that they "turn out" better. What does that mean? How is it measured?

(yes, I know you never said it was THE reason, which is why I indicated it was one of the key factors)

SUS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 11:12am
I've been deleting everything I was trying to say, as the point I want to make is floating around the room but refuses to take root. The last post rambled on, and this one is too.


So, I do agree with you totally, and if I ever figure out how to say what I meant, I'll be back.


Way to go Jayhawks!!

Lorri

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 11:12am
But I still want to know how "turning out good or better" was measured.

SUS

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 11:31am
omg, lorri, i could have written exactly what you posted. i think our ds's are twins. that is the same situation in our home. dh and i do not have college degrees and have always tried to impress on our children how important it is for them to work toward degrees. my ds1 had the exact same arguement, so now he is living in florida on his own, working for a restaurant working banquets and parties, and LOVING IT! he is 20yo and imho, he has not figured out what he wants to do, and will just take his time. he wants to go back to school, but we made it clear, he will have to pay for most of it, as when we paid for two years of community college, he did not do well at all. doesnt have many credits. when we see he is serious about a degree we will kick in some help, but until then we are just supporting his emotional stability and glad he is happy for the moment.

on the same token, our dd is hard driving, determined, directed and totally focused.(not sure how we ended up with her, but we're going to keep her!!LOL). she just simply digested our direction in a different way than her brother, imo.

i will tell you this. dh and i get compliments on how respectful and polite our children are from people outside our home all the time. when i was in the throws of raising kids, the pediatrician once reassured me if we are getting this kind of feedback, we're doing something right.

dh and i were raised in very middle class homes. our town was all socio-economically the same, and we never even experienced the "competition" in society that we do here in the city we live in now. it was very hard for me to understand when i first came here. but i agree with you, i do not think the ses we are raised in has anything to do with the end results.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 12:54pm
While I don't think SES is the ONLY factor, I do agree that it is a KEY factor.

If you're talking about SES levels that are close, there's probably not a big difference. But when you're talking SES level at or near the poverty level versus those in "high income" brackets, there is a most significant advantage to the higher level.

I don't know anything scientific or proven. But, children who grow up in in cities and are exposed to crime, have few (and poor) educational resources, who are exposed to few postive role models, etc, etc .. have little chance for a decent college education, or even entry into a skilled work program. They aren't exposed to resources that could get them "up and out." Families in this type of atmostphere tend to repeat it.

On the other hand, children of families with a high income have better resources, in education, etc... and have a better opportunity to become a responsible, education, contributing adult. Its fairly obvious that childen of higher income families have a higher college attendence rate than those of poor families.

Now, if you're talking the difference from lower middle class to upper middle class? Probably not as significant.

Now, as to whether or not the kids of families of any SES are more emotionally adjusted? smarter? nicer? more moral? I don't think it makes much of a differnce. But when you look at life paths, as defined by education, career field, future family SES ... then SES is a very big factor.

I don't know if I explained myself well or not ... but there's my $.02.

Hollie

Avatar for cyndiluwho
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 12:57pm
It's measured in things like school performance, whether or not they go to and finish college, the liklihood they'll be in trouble with the law, teenaged pregnancies, gang activity and drug usage. Do you really need me to tell you how SES affects kids??? I was raised lower middle class. Hardly anyone went to college. Several of my friends had babies before they graduated and many didn't graduate. Most did drugs. Most now hold menial jobs and eek out a day to day existence. Like many of my friends, I married young thinking I'd find a better way of life. Unlike many of my friends, I figured out I had to make my own way in life, bit the bullet and went to college (edited to add: but not until I was 25 and had wasted half a dozen years). My children have many advantages over my upbringing because of the increase in SES that results from my WOH. Better schools, living in a better neighborhood, the influence of an educated mom (for some reason researchers correct for moms education level but not dads), opportunities for brain optimization like the Yamaha music classes my girls attend, loads less stress in the household and higher aspirations both now and later with regard to their educations.

SES matters and it matters a lot. Statiscically speaking, you will see more crime and teen pregnancies in the lower SES's, higher rates of dropping out of high school, lower rates of attending college and more drug activity. Now, I can't quote numbers but I've read these things over and over again and I can attest to them in the differences I see from where I grew up to where I am now. I live less than 10 miles from the house I grew up in but it might as well be a 1000 miles for the difference. Girls still, routinely, get pg and drop out of school there whereas it would be a disaster here. My brother still lives in the town we grew up in. My neice, who graduated two years ago is the only girl in her group of friends who wasn't pg or had had a baby by the time she graduated. She's the only one who went on to college.

SES isn't an absolute determiner of how kids turn out but it does stack the deck. My neice came really close to blowing it in high school when she decided to move in with her bf. Fortunately, she didn't get pg. While her parents had a lot of influence, so did her peers. Fortunately, for everyone, she realized that she didn't want to end up like her friends and decided to go back home. She could have just as easily have chosen otherwise. Had my neice grown up in an area where going to college was the norm and girls didn't get pg and marry at 18, I'd suspect there would have been a lot less turmoil that last year and a half she was in highschool.


Edited 3/30/2003 2:00:13 PM ET by cyndiluwho

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