What Are SES Effects Effects Of?: A Developmental Systems Perspective
As well documented by the scholarship included in this volume, human developmentalists have a long and rich research tradition of studying associations among socioeconomic status (SES), family structure and function, and child development (for example, see Bomstein, 1995a, 2002; Bronfenbrenner & Crouter, 1983; Fisher, Jackson, & Villarruel, 1998). Despite the voluminous studies of these associations, a-if not the-key theoretical question remains moot. "That is, through what causal mechanism does the set of variables marked by the term socioeconomic status influence parenting and its linkage to child development?" "In other words, by what mechanisms do macro contextual variables represented by SES translate into a developmental process that results in the behaviors of parents or children, or in ontogenetic changes in parent-child relations?"