Plenty, Stephanie , Jonsson, Jan O. | 2020
Immigrant background and disadvantaged socioeconomic background are two key predictors of poorer school achievement in Europe. However, the former is associated with higher while the latter is associated with lower aspirations. This study asks whether family relationships account for this difference. Data come from 5,926 students in Germany and Sweden, eliciting indicators of family background and relationships at age 14–15 years (2011) and occupational aspirations 1 year later. High aspirations were found among students of non‐European background and students with higher parental occupational status. Structural equation models showed that while immigrant families had greater parental aspirations and encouragement, family cohesion, and parental monitoring, only parental aspirations mediated the effects of family background.