[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2017.
My PhD work aimed to assess intergenerational transmission and life-course change
of attitudes towards authority. Intergenerational transmission is hypothesised as
the mechanism through which parentsÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚ authoritarian attitudes affect their childrenÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚s
attitudes towards authority in adulthood. In the assessment of this transmission mechanism,
this analysis accounts for individual-level theoretically relevant factors such as
gender, education, social class, offspringÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚s cognitive ability in childhood,
as well as family background, in a longitudinal, single-cohort perspective. The research
used the British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70), which allows for the analysis of change
at both the intra- and inter-individual levels. The sweeps analysed are those in years
1975 for the parents, and 1980, 1996, 2000 and 2012 for the cohort members.
The analytical chapters of the thesis are made of three papers: The first assessed
change (or stability) in attitudes to authority in the BCS70 from 1996 to 2012; the
second looked at how parental authoritarian worldviews affect their childrenÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚s
attitudes towards authority when the children are adults; finally, the third paper
aimed to evaluate the effect of parental attitudes on cohort membersÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚ attitudes
towards authority in adulthood, after controlling for the latterÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚s cognitive
ability in childhood.
I found that attitudes had a reasonably high level of stability across the life course.
Despite moderately strong correlations across attitudes within waves, the different
attitudes showed different patterns of longitudinal evolution, suggesting different
causal influences. The evidence for direct transmission of attitudes from parents
to children was surprisingly weak; the social statuses of the parents and cohort members,
and especially the membersÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Ã‚ childhood cognitive ability, were the strongest predictors
of authoritarian attitudes in adulthood.