This study investigated the relative influence of parent attitudes and behaviors on the scholastic and social adjustment of 729 low-income, black sixth graders in the Longitudinal Study of Children at Risk. Data were collected from parent questionnaires on attitudes toward education, expectations for children's educational attainment, and several indicators of behaviors with or on behalf of their children. Results indicated that parents had generally positive attitudes toward their children's schooling, had high expectations for their educational attainment, and were moderately involved in their education at home and in school. Multiple regression analyses indicated that only parents' educational expectations and satisfaction with the quality of schooling were significantly associated with reading achievement, math achievement, and teacher ratings of competence and problem behaviors above and beyond family/child background factors (e.g., parent education and SES, family structure, employment status, sex). Attitudinal factors also contributed significant variance (2.4%-9.1%) to differences in cognitive and social adjustment outcomes and, to lesser degrees, changes in social adjustment from Grades 4-6 (2.2%-5.7%). Behavioral measures had negligible influences on school adjustment outcomes. Findings suggest that affective characteristics of parents deserve special attention in educational reform and intervention efforts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)