Dual pathways of intergenerational influence over multiple generations

Qing Huang, Xi Song, Yu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The traditional approach to studying intergenerational influences has been limited to a single-stranded framework, with a focus on the transmission of socioeconomic status across two generations. In this paper, we develop a theoretical model of dual-pathway intergenerational influence over multiple generations and test the model by utilizing recent high-quality three-generation panel data from China. The model consists of two intertwined pathways: a socioeconomic pathway measured with educational attainment and a psychological pathway measured with mindset. We show that mindset is a fundamental psychological factor strongly associated with multiple outcomes, including cognitive skills, personalities, and attitudes. Intergenerational influences operate via the transmissions of both mindset and socioeconomic status as well as the cross-domain pathways between the two. Our results offer new insights for a better understanding of intergenerational mobility and immobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-276
Number of pages40
JournalChinese Sociological Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Demography
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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