By contrasting between models of cultural reproduction and cultural mobility, this article aims to offer more insight into the causes of changes in cultural participation due to family influence and developments in the educational career. Longitudinal data were used on 2547 adolescents who took part in a classroom survey at age 14-16, and who were since then interviewed two to five times, on average every 2 years. Parents' cultural participation was found to be more important than education and remained important in the period from adolescence to young adulthood. Although less important than the family influences, education is associated with large differences in cultural participation. These differences are largely additional to the differences according to parents' cultural participation. Less than half of the differences according to educational level actually emerge during the educational career. The other differences already exist in adolescence, before the educational career is completed. The effects of parents' cultural participation and education operate independently, except for one educational category - gymnasium students in whom the effect of parents' cultural participation is stronger than for others. It is concluded that processes of cultural reproduction and cultural mobility both play a role in cultural participation. © The Author 2009.