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Measuring the interaction between parents and children in Italian families: a structural equation approach

By Anna Maccagnan

Abstract

In this paper we theoretically and empirically analyse the capability to social interaction between parents and children in Italy, within a capability approach framework. For this purpose, after having identified the functionings and conversion factors related to this capability, we have built an integrated dataset for year 2008 with a procedure inspired to the propensity score matching. This allows us to work on a wide set of information, both on the realized functionings, ands on the personal and familiar factors that are likely to affect childrens attainments. We have analysed this data using descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling. Our results suggest lower levels of interaction for fathers that for mothers. Further, childrens capability to interact with the parents is negatively affected by the number of siblings in the household, by childs increasing age and by living in the South of Italy. Also parents characteristics are crucial: highly educated fathers tend to perform better in their interaction with the child and father-child relationship, furthermore, is positively affected by the fact that the mother is employed, while motherchild interaction does not significantly change.Capability Approach, Human Development, Structural Equation Models

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