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Research Summaries

Research Summaries
When discussing parenting styles, the name of Diana Baumrind always comes up. She proposed the idea of different parenting styles based on how responsive and demanding a parent is. Three different parenting styles are compared and contrasted. Permissive parents are accepting and affirmative toward their child’s desires. Authoritarian parents try to completely control the behavior of their child while authoritative parents try to direct the child’s behavior in an orderly and structured manner. She then looks at eight different situations that have an effect on child behavior. Only findings that were 0.05 or lower there were concerned with disciplinary practices were published in the paper. These eight factors deal with the harmful side effects of punishment, the effectiveness of punishment, demands, and supervision. In the end, a discussion is proposed on how a balance is struck between control and freedom for the child (Baumrind, 1966).

In 1983, Maccoby and Martin expounded upon Baumrind’s parenting styles and even added a category of their own. They discovered that parenting styles can be discerned from how demanding and how responsive the parents are to their children. Demandingness refers to the expectations parents set up for their children in how they should act, while responsiveness refers to how well the parents interact with their children. Authoritative parents are high in both, while neglectful, a new style proposed by Maccoby and Martin, are low in both. Authoritarian is high in demandingness and permissive is high in responsiveness (Maccoby and Martin, 1983).

In order to determine if parenting styles have an effect on motivation for academic achievement, some sort of scale must be used to discern if there is any correlation. In a study done by Bachman, an attempt was made to use the Edward’s Need Achievement scale to predict academic achievement in college age students. The subjects used in the experiment were selected from introductory psychology classes and scores were taken from the Edward’s Need Achievement test, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, first year GPA, and total exam points in the intro psych class. A test was also generated to measure over and under achievement in the students. Although the results from the Edward’s need achievement test did not give statistical significance in predicting academic achievement by itself it did help when used in conjunction with other achievement predictors such as the SAT (Bachman, 1964).

Can parents have an influence on the academic achievement and motivation of their children? Steinberg and his associates set out to do this in a series of experiments. The first of these was performed to determine if authoritative parenting contributes to the psychosocial development of the child, which in turn leads to academic motivation. He believed that three aspects made up an authoritative parenting style. These are a high degree of warmth, a high degree of psychological autonomy, and a high degree of behavioral control. The study was composed of 120 families and collected data on family relations and psychosocial maturity. They did this by using several different scales such as the Child Report of Parent Behavior Inventory and the Psychosocial Maturity Inventory. The results showed that the all three aspects of authoritative parenting lead to increases in school grades, which in turn confirmed the hypothesis that authoritative parenting leads to school success (Steinberg, 1989).

Steinberg’s next paper measures an over-time relation between parenting and school performance. The study also focuses on mediating and moderating effects of authoritative parenting styles. The study increased the sample size to encompass nine schools from Wisconsin and Northern California. Measures were taken of the level of authoritative parenting, acceptance/involvement, parental involvement, parental encouragement, and academic outcomes. The results show that authoritative parenting does have an impact on academic motivation in the long term. The study showed that mediating roles of parental involvement, such as parental school involvement and academic encouragement, significantly correlate with parental authoritativeness (Steinberg, 1992).

Steinberg’s third paper was conducted as a follow up to the above and was used to determine if the effects of parenting were maintained over time. Similar batteries of tests were used on the same group of students. The study concluded that, while the benefits of authoritative parenting stayed fairly consistent, the deleterious consequences of neglectful parenting continue to compile (Steinberg, 1993). The idea is that parent involvement leads to child parent-oriented motivation, which leads to child engagement and eventually to child motivation. The study used children starting the seventh grade in America and China that completed a set of questionnaires four different times over a two year period. Scales were developed to measure the involvement of the parent in the child’s education, parent-oriented motivation at school, autonomous motivation in school, self-regulated learning strategies, and grades. The research showed that a parent’s involvement did indeed influence a child’s parent-oriented motivation which in turn caused the child to acquire the motivation for their selves (Cheung, 2012).

If parents do have influence over their children and their motivation for academic achievement, then how does it affect them throughout their lives? Adolescents are a critical point in human development and how a parent raises their child can influence their academic motivation. The study took 354 eighth graders and their parents were asked to each fill out a questionnaire about achievement strategies and parenting styles amongst a few other scales like a depress index and self-esteem scale. The achievement strategies scale used was the Strategy and Attribution Questionnaire while the parenting style questionnaire was the Örebro Parenting Style Inventory for Adolescents and Parents. The results were first broken down into parenting style categories and then into achievement strategies. Six criterion variables were used for the parenting style and each style had their own characteristics. The reported achievement strategies from both the parents and the children reflected the parenting style in which they came from. The results from this study can be implemented into the classroom by turning maladaptive behavior into more efficient actions (Aunola, 2000).

Since parenting styles influence youth so much it probably has an influence later in life during a person’s college years. Although many studies have been done on this subject they have yielded inconsistent results. The study was conducted to see if authoritative parenting and self-efficacy lead to an improvement in academic achievement. The study took 264 college students from surrounding colleges and asked them to fill out their demographics, the Parental Authority Questionnaire, the Academic Motivation Scale- College Version, the Self-efficacy and Study Skills Questionnaire, and asked to report their GPA. The study concluded that parenting characteristics do play an important role in the academic achievement of the students (Turner, 2009).

Does parenting style play a role in a person’s motivation for academic achievement and if so is there a difference in the effect on children in their adolescents and college age students? It is believed that students with authoritative parents will show more motivation towards academic achievement when presented with increasingly difficult questions and that there will be little to no difference in the effects on each age group.

Aunola, K., Stattin, H., & Nurmi, J. (2000). Parenting styles and adolescents' achievement strategies. Journal Of Adolescence, 23(2), 205-222. doi:10.1006/jado.2000.0308 Bachman, J. G. (1964). Prediction of academic achievement using the Edwards need Achievement scale. Journal Of Applied Psychology, 48(1), 16-19. doi:10.1037/h0045329 Baumrind, D. (1966). Effects of authoritative control on child behavior. Child Development, 37(4), 887-907. doi:10.2307/1126611 Chan, T. W., & Koo, A. (2011). Parenting style and youth. European Sociological Review, 27(3), 385-399. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcq013 Cheung, C., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2012). Why does parents' involvement enhance children's achievement? The role of parent-oriented motivation. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 104(3), 820-832. doi:10.1037/a0027183 Maccoby, E. E. and Martin, J. A. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. Handbook of child psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 1±101), Mussen, P. H. (Ed.). New York:Wiley. Steinberg, L., Elmen, J. D., & Mounts, N. S. (1989). Authoritative parenting, psychosocial maturity, and academic success among adolescents. Child Development, 60(6), 1424-1436. doi:10.2307/1130932 Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S. D., Dornbusch, S. M., & Darling, N. (1992). Impact of parenting practices on adolescent achievement: Authoritative parenting, school involvement, and encouragement to succeed. Child Development, 63(5), 1266-1281. doi:10.2307/1131532 Steinberg, L., Lamborn, S. D., Darling, N., & Mounts, N. S. (1994). Over-time changes in adjustment and competence among adolescents from authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and neglectful families. Child Development, 65(3), 754-770. doi:10.2307/1131416 Turner, E. A., Chandler, M., & Heffer, R. W. (2009). The influence of parenting styles, achievement motivation, and self-efficacy on academic performance in college students. Journal Of College Student Development, 50(3), 337-346. Vallerand, R.J., Pelletier, L.G., Blais, M.R, Brière, N.M., Senécal, C., & Vallières, E.F. (1992). The academic motivation scale: a measure of intrinsic, extrinsic, and amotivation in education. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 1003-1017. Vallerand, R.J., Pelletier, L.G., Blais, M.R, Brière, N.M., Senécal, C., & Vallières, E.F. (1993). On the assessment of intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation in education: Evidence on the concurrent and construct validity of the academic motivation scale. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53, 159-172.

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