This study examines the extent to which parental reading socialization and early school involvement account for performance differences between low-status and high-status children in successive primary school grades. It investigates not only the direct effects of these parental practices on children's academic performance, but also the indirect effects, that is, controlling for the children's prior performance. It furthermore examines the influence of parental reading socialization and early school involvement on the longer term development of scholastic performance. Panel data are employed from four waves of the Dutch primary education cohort study, starting in 1996-1997. Using multilevel (repeated measurement) models, we find that parental reading socialization and parental school involvement both explain part of the association between social background and academic performance in successive primary school years. The positive, mainly indirect, impact of these factors, however, is stronger for children's language performance than for arithmetic achievement. Finally, children socialized in reading retain or even expand their advantage in language performance over children who lack early reading socialization. The positive impact of parental school involvement fades as primary school progresses.
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