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A comparison between high school academic achievement and the combined effect of parenting style, gender, ethnicity, parental emphasis on academic performance, and school attended
McNeely, Mary Jane
Anderson, William T.
GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING|SOCIOLOGY
INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY STUDIES
TEXAS WOMAN'S UNIVERSITY
Theses - Dissertation
This study examined the difference between academic achievement and parenting styles. Also examined were differences between academic achievement and parenting style when combined with each of the variables of gender, ethnicity, parental emphasis on academic achievement, and school attended. High School sophomore and junior students from a large, urban, upper-middle class high school (School A) and from a midsize, urban, technical high school (School B), each in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, completed the Parental Authority Questionnaire (Buri, 1991). The results of the survey were compared to the grade point average of each student. Also factored into the results were the combined effects of identified parenting style and gender, ethnicity, parental emphasis on academic achievement, and school attended. There were a total of 190 participants from both schools. Statistical analysis identified significance in one area. Higher academic achievement was associated with students who perceived their mothers as authoritative. No significance was found in reference to fathers' parenting style. This could be due to the fact that more participants lived with mothers than with fathers. No significance was found relating to the variables of gender, ethnicity, parental emphasis on academic performance, or school attended when combined with parenting style. The study found little significance pertaining to the impact of parenting style on academic achievement. Various reasons for this can be speculated upon. Some of the reasons might be small sample and cell sizes; the involvement of fewer fathers than mothers; noninclusion of socioeconomic status as a variable; and the possibility that the Parental Authority Questionnaire was inappropriate for the study. The results could be of value to many sectors of society that have an interest in ensuring that the children of this society are well educated and competent to enter adulthood and the work force in a productive manner. All of society shares the responsibility and hopefully the goal of ensuring that this happens. This study identified one area of parenting practices that possibly has an effect on educational achievement. The study also indicated that society and education may be placing too much emphasis on the impact of parenting practices on academic achievement. This information could be used by school, family service providers, businesses, and government agencies to help develop programs that provide assistance to that end.
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