So, it is with much satisfaction that I read about this study.
Family scholarly culture and educational success: Books and schooling in 27 nations
(Note: It costs $31.50 to purchase the article.)
From the press release:
RENO, Nev. – Whether rich or poor, residents of the United States or China, illiterate or college graduates, parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain, according to a 20-year study lead by Mariah Evans, University of Nevada, Reno associate professor of sociology and resource economics.
For years, educators have thought the strongest predictor of attaining high levels of education was having parents who were highly educated. But, strikingly, this massive study showed that the difference between being raised in a bookless home compared to being raised in a home with a 500-book library has as great an effect on the level of education a child will attain as having parents who are barely literate (3 years of education) compared to having parents who have a university education (15 or 16 years of education). Both factors, having a 500-book library or having university-educated parents, propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average.
This study reminds me of the Home Educated and Now Adults research which found that even less educated parents could successfully homeschool. I imagine that personal libraries contributed to their success.
Yet again, we can see that it is the quality of the home and the attributes of the parents that propel educational achievement.