Failing to match the academic achievements of your parents can be as distressing for men as a divorce, a study suggests.
Researchers divided educational attainment into three categories – the top level equated to a degree, the middle to A-levels an d the bottom to GCSEs Ｏr lower.
The levels reached by parents an d their children were then compared with their psychological state.
The Oxford University researchers found that exceeding parents’ educational attainment was li
However women did not appear to be affected by failing to keep up with their parents. The survey analysed results from more than 50,000 people in Britain an d 27 other European Ｃountries.
Men whose educational status was at the bottom level an d whose parents were at the top level were more than twice as likely to be among the 10 percent of most psychologically distressed people than those whose educational level matched their parents’.
Study co-author Dr Alexi Gugushvili said the effect was comparable to the gap between those who were divorced an d those who were not.
But men whose educational status was at the top level an d whose parents were at the bottom level were 50 percent less likely to be psychologically distressed than men whose level was the same as their parents’.
Dr Gugushvili said: ‘For men, parents’ educational achievement an d intergenerational mobility retain an important influence on their psychological health after acＣounting for individuals’ social class an d other explanations of distress, but no effect is observed for women’s distress.
‘The reason for this could be that men are more likely than women to attribute success an d failure by pointing to their own merits, abilities an d effort, rather than factors they have no control over.’
Dr Gugushvili is due to present the findings at the British Sociological Association’s annual conference.