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Academic Motivation: Mediating Variable between Parenting Style

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In childhood development, the most influential social unit is the family, specifically the parents. Parents are the primary persons who are responsible to teach good values and behaviour in children. Parents have different methods on how to transmit their values, skills, behaviour, and attitudes to their children. Most parents want their children to do well in school however not all parents are successful in this. When parents have a good way of handling their child, it can possibly boost a child’s academic motivation and academic achievement.

However, not all parents may exercise the proper approach when handling their children, this is because parents may differ in punishing, reinforcing, caring, and showing warmth to their children and these differences are called Parenting Styles. Therefore, this study will be useful and informative for parents on how to raise their child and for the future parents to have an idea and awareness of the different approaches that most children would prefer. Literature Review

Parenting Style can be defined as the integration of the two elements of parenting: Responsiveness/Warmth and Demandingness (Baumrind, 1991). Responsiveness is the extent to which a parent supports their child and attends to their child’s needs. Demandingness on the other hand is the extent to which a parent sets rules and guidelines that the child needs to follow and how they discipline according to these set rules and guidelines (Awan E. A., Bibi F., et al., 2013). Parenting styles can also be defined as “a constellation of attitudes toward the child that are communicated to the child and that, taken together, create an emotional climate in which the parent’s behavior are expressed (Darling & Steinberg, 1993, p. 488).”

In Baumrind’s study in 1966, she established 3 Parenting styles; Authoritative Parenting Style, Authoritarian Parenting Style and Permissive Parenting Style. The Authoritarian Parent is very demanding and less responsive. They are strict and expect their children to follow the rules that they set because for them, they are the parent therefore they should be followed. They are often emotionally detached, but restrictively controlling. They use force in punishment in order to restrain their children’s self-will. Although they are consistent in their methods for discipline, these parents are less likely to use rational methods of control (Baumrind, 1973). In addition by Cramer (2002), the power assertion used to guide their children, leaves no room for questioning or discussion. On the other hand the Permissive Parent is less demanding but more responsive.

According by Cramer (2002), parents are warm, loving, and child-centered, but they are prone to outburst of anger when they reach the capacity of tolerance. They are passive in their parenting and almost give in to their child’s every demand/request because they don’t want to disappoint their child. They do not set clear rules around the house unlike the authoritarian and authoritative parent. They usually let their children do what they want. Children are free from restraint because of an affirmative, accepting, and kind manner characteristic of this parenting style and parents often use love withdrawal and ridicule as a way of discipline (Cramer, 2002). The Authoritative Parent is very demanding but at the same time very responsive. An authoritative parenting style has established benefits to children as opposed to the negative outcomes produce by authoritarian and permissive parenting (Demo & Cox, 2000).

They set clear rules and standards as to how they expect their children to behave and carry themselves. Their methods of discipline are supportive rather than punishing. Authoritative Parents have high expectations for their children but support and encourage them (Hong, 2012). There’s a study that Authoritarian and permissive parenting styles were negatively associated with higher grades, whereas authoritative parenting style was positively associated with higher grades (Dornbusch et al, 1987). Researchers found that academic achievement was negatively related to authoritarianism. Adolescents who perceived their parents to be authoritative engaged in more effective learning and studying strategies, therefore an Authoritative Parenting Style can be considered as the most effective parenting style for academic achievement because it constitutes a balance between both responsiveness/warmth and demandingness (Steinberg, et.al, 1992 as cited in Hong, 2012).

An authoritative parenting style has established benefits to children as opposed to the negative outcomes produce by authoritarian and permissive parenting (Demo & Cox, 2000). Authoritative parenting is competence inducing in that it recognizes the child’s need for control and individuality, views and rights and duties of parents and children as complementary, and is characterized by sensitivity to children’s capabilities and the development task they face (Belsky, Lerrer, & Spanier, 1984). Authoritative parenting has been associated with numerous positive child outcomes such as high social competence, positive social adjustment and low psychological and behavioral dysfunction (Grolnick & Ryan, 1989; Lambourn, et al., 1991).

Furthermore Baumrind (1991) found that children are more competent, more achievement oriented and more academically motivated when their parents are warm, supportive and caring, which is a characteristic of the authoritative parenting style (Chandler, Heffer, and Turner, 2009). According to Cramer’s research (2002) a 4th parenting style was introduced by past researches (Dekovic & Gerris, 1992; Glasgow, Dornbusch, Troyer, Steinberg, & Ritter, 1997; Lamborn et al., 1991; Leung & Kwan, 1998): The Uninvolved Parenting Style. The Uninvolved Parent is low in both demandingness and responsiveness. Maccoby and Martin (1983) call this parenting style as Indifferent-Uninvolved. They describe these parents as emotionally detached. They spend less time with their child to the point of almost neglecting them.

These parents usually keep their children at a distance. Uninvolved Parents are not concerned in their child’s needs, whereabouts or even activities in school and with peers. These parents may be overwhelmed with their situation, frustrated, lost their partner or have simply given up on their authority on the child. Little is known about this parenting style, and research on this particular style is lacking because they usually are not involved with their children’s lives and therefore do not volunteer to be studied (Cramer, 2002). The researchers hypothesize that applying the proper parenting style to the children can possibly help them gain academic motivation and in turn increase their academic achievement. Parenting is a very tedious task.

Couples have to prioritize between spending time with their children, disciplining their children, working to provide for the family and the list goes on. It’s almost similar to a juggling act wherein parents balance their priorities such as spending time with their children, work and disciplining their children. Parenting as a whole is very complex and often times difficult. Therefore it is of no surprise that there has been an abundance of research being conducted on parenting (e.g., Abell, et al., 1996; Beyer, 1995; Bloir, 1997; Bluestone & Tamis-LeMonda, 1999; Darling, 1999). One of these are studies done on parenting styles; particularly its influence on a child’s academic achievement. However the purpose of this study is not only to find out the direct connection between perceived parenting style and academic achievement but also the indirect connection between perceived parenting style and academic achievement through academic motivation.

Parenting styles play a very significant role in a child’s performance in school. The way parents treat their children will affect the way the child performs. Also, parenting styles have different effects to the development and educational achievement of the children and the knowledge of these styles may help parents be aware of which style is most appropriate for their children in order to gain higher educational achievement and motivation. In the study of Strage and Brandt (1999), the role of parenting styles in the lives of students was found to be important. As a matter of fact students were found to be more confident and more persistent academically when autonomy, demand and support are provided by their parents. Parental beliefs and perception have also been shown to be strong predictors of parental involvement.

For instance, there are four causative advanced phenomena that could affect individual scholastic achievement, which include: the child’s attitude, family, school and society. In these sets of influencing factors, parents stand in the position of the family. Parental involvement includes a wide range of behaviors, but it generally refers to parents’ mode of training and investment of resources in their children’s schooling. At home these involvements may include activities such as discussion on school, helping with homework, and reading with children (Dauber, Epstein, 1993). On the other hand a warm home climate, child-acceptance and loving parents are likely to produce children with much higher cognitive skills (Nwagwu, 1995).

In the process of a child`s performance the parents involvement will have a big contribution, not only in cognitive but also in the way on how a child will do in school. Parents are the ones who will build a child’s development so if a child poorly performs in school it has something to do on how they are treated. In addition, the more favorable the children perceived their parents behavior towards them, the more they are likely to perform successfully in school (Karback, 1989). Furthermore, Cohen and Rice’s study in 1997 found that student’s with higher academic achievement perceived their parents to be more authoritative, on the other hand students with low grades rated or perceived their parents as less authoritative, more permissive and more authoritarian (Rivers, 2006). The research of Steinberg, Elmen and Mount (1989) does not differ from this, in that children who describe their parents as treating them warmly, democratically and firmly are more likely than their peers to develop positive attitudes and beliefs towards their achievement, and as a consequence, are more likely to do better in school.

Academic achievement is influenced by both knowledge structures and processes of information processing and environmental and self-regulation factors (Buttler and Winne, 1995 as cited in Liaghat, Madah, and Madahi, 2013). Results from studies that attempt to relate parental styles and child and adolescent academic and social behavior and identity have been mixed and the effect sizes vary widely depending on the gender of the parent or a care-giver, gender, age and temperament of the child and the socio-economic status of the family (Harris, 2002). For instance, Conrade & Ho (2001) found the mother’s parenting style had a bigger impact on child performance in school while Bronte-Tinkew, Moore and Carrano (2006) found that fathers’ emotional responsiveness was more highly related to children’s performance.

Conrade and company’s 2001 study and Lee and company’s 2006 study found that girls are affected either positively or negatively by parenting style differences between the two parents while boys are more positively or negatively affected only by parenting style alone. However, parental involvement has an effect on student motivation and has been recently explored. It really shows that involvement of parents affect student motivation. Students who achieve academically are motivated to exert more effort to become competent and successful. Research has shown that children’s academic motivation is usually influenced by environmental factors such as parental pressure and encouragement (Siddiqui, 2004; Swanson, Valiente, & Lemery-Chalfant, 2012). The purpose of this is to present how parenting involvement affect student motivation.

Parental involvement is related to the following motivational constructs: school engagement, intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, autonomy, self-regulation, mastery goal orientation, and motivation to read. The constructs discusses that relationship exist between parent involvement and student motivation, and it concludes with suggestions for confirmed research (Doan Holbein, Gonzalez-DeHass, and Willems, 2005). According to White (1959), in the early half of the 20th century, people from the field of psychology thought that motivation was based on our “drives” such as animal or instinctual drives. The drive theories couldn’t explain the curiosity or desire to control the environment that was evident in the research of motivation.

White’s theory of Effectance Motivation, which involves behavior characterized by curiosity, exploration and experimentation propelled by the feeling of efficacy that comes when one masters one’s environment, brought a shift in thinking regarding the ideas of motivation during that time (Harter, 1978). A lot of research has been done on effectance motivation in regards to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation orientation (Amabile, Hill, Hennessey, & Tighe, 1994; Boggianno & Barrett, 1985; Harter, 1978; 1981; Gottfried, 1985; 1990). Harter (1981) defined intrinsic academic motivation as the degree to which a child’s tendency to participate in classroom activities is driven by internal motivational factors (e.g., learning new things, new skills, etc.).

Gottfried et al. (1998) defined it as “the performance of activities for their own sake in which pleasure is inherent in the activity itself” (p. 1448). Extrinsic Motivation on the other hand involves behaviors caused due to external factors such as rewards, praise etc. Intrinsic motivation is positively related to a child’s achievement, IQ and perceptions of competence (Cramer, 2002). A longitudinal study done by Gottfried et al. (1998) found that home environment was significantly related to academic intrinsic motivation. This finding indicated both short and long term effects extending throughout a child’s development. The study examines how individuals’ overall manner of parenting relates to their children’s motivation in school (Cramer 2002).

Deci and Ryan (2002) introduced Self-Determination Theory (SDT); a model of Motivation that explains how people achieve psychological growth and thus develop intrinsic motivation. According to SDT, a person may achieve psychological growth when 3 needs are met. These 3 needs are Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness. Autonomy is defined as having the freedom to choose or do what the individual wants to do without feeling pressured. Competence is the perceived belief in one’s ability to perform well in any activity. Relatedness is the need to feel a sense of belonging and connection to other people. According to SDT the only way a person will achieve these 3 is for social support, such as relationships, to be present. However, even though these 3 are present the psychological growth described in SDT doesn’t happen automatically.

Furthermore, there are factors that can hinder psychological growth, one of which is giving extrinsic rewards for already intrinsically motivated behavior, which can hinder the person from attaining autonomy. This is because the behavior becomes increasingly controlled by the external rewards, thus the person begins to feel less in control of their own behaviors therefore intrinsic motivation decreases. Gottfried et al. (1994) found that parental motivational practices play a significant role in children’s academic intrinsic motivation. As cited in Garn & Jolly’s 2013 study, Intrinsic motivation represents the highest form of self-determination and results in consistent and volitional learning behaviors (Deci & Ryan, 2000).

Children who are intrinsically motivated to learn appreciate learning opportunities and find learning meaningful or relevant to meeting psychological needs such as gaining competence, connecting with others, expressing themselves, seeing the beauty in knowledge or pursuing their interests (Brophy 2008 ; Ryan & Deci, 2000). Motivation to learn entails students seeing learning activities as meaningful and primarily seeking the enhanced knowledge, understanding, or skills that an academic task affords (Brophy, 2004). Over- and under-controlling parenting styles are linked to extrinsic motivation, while parental encouragement in response to grades and autonomy-supporting parenting styles were linked to intrinsic motivation (Ginsburg &, Bronstein, 1993).

For example, an intrinsically motivated student engages in learning activities to fulfill his or her interests and curiosity (Niemiec & Ryan, 2009). Learning is regulated effectively by intrinsic motivation because behavioral engagement is considered a reward in and of itself. Thus, because motivation comes from within the individual, external contingencies are unnecessary to regulate behavior. Intrinsic motivation to learn is a natural tendency that facilitates high levels of cognitive, emotional and social development (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Students who are intrinsically motivated focus more on the process of learning than learning outcomes. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation is linked to high levels of achievement (Soenens & Vansteenkiste, 2005).

Intrinsic motivation is more likely to be fostered or enhanced over time in school environments that are viewed as focusing on task mastery, individual improvement, and personal effort (Corpus, McClintic-Gilbert, & Hayenga, 2009). In contrast, a child who is primarily extrinsically motivated may study in order to get good grades, impress others or avoid punishments. Children with extrinsic motivation participate in school activities to achieve awards, praise and recognition from their teachers, peers and even parents. The internalization of extrinsic motivation is important for students who do not view participating in school activities as enjoyable, fun or interesting.

In a study done by Ginsburg and Bronstein (1993) on older elementary students and their parents their results were consistent with other recent research (Dornbusch, Ritter, Leiderman, Robets, & Fraleigh, 1987; Grolnick & Ryan, 1989; Steinberg, Elmen, &Mounts, 1989) which indicated that authoritative parenting styles lead to intrinsic motivation while extrinsic motivation results from authoritarian and permissive parenting styles. Although many researchers like Grolnick, Baumrind, Cramer and company created and contributed to the idea of the study in the influence of parenting styles in the academic performance and academic motivation of the children, the studies about parenting styles were mostly conducted in different countries with different cultures and may differ the result in the influence of parenting styles to the children.

One example is a study done by Steinberg, Lamborn, Dornbush, & Darling (1992) which found that for Asian Cultures Authoritarian Parenting and Academic Motivation exhibit a strong positive link; on the other hand, in the United States, Authoritative Parenting is more superior over Authoritarian Parenting in producing good academic performance in children. For this study, the researchers will have Filipino participants. The researchers’ study can help identify which parenting styles will improve, and on the other hand, which parenting styles will decrease a child’s academic motivation and academic performance particularly in the Filipino setting. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework

Figure 1. Parenting Style has an influence on a child’s Academic Motivation and thus indirectly influences their Academic Achievement, however parenting styles also directly influence academic achievement.

Parents are the ones who give children a view of what life can be. They are the first to guide their children into this world. Parents are also role models due to the fact that children will try to imitate what they are doing, what they see them do, and how they do things. This means that, parents will have a huge impact on a child’s life, socially, psychologically, emotionally and academically. In the study of Baumrind (1991) it is mentioned that there are different parenting styles that will influence the child`s academic achievement and academic motivation. In Baumrind’s study he categorized 3 parenting styles which are Authoritative, Authoritarian and Permissive Parenting Style; while the Uninvolved Parenting Style was introduced later.

Authoritative parenting style is very demanding and at the same times a very responsive and warm parent; they provide autonomy and support for their children. Parental encouragement in response to grades and autonomy-supporting parenting styles were linked to intrinsic motivation. On the other hand, Authoritarian parenting style is very demanding and less responsive parent and expects to be followed since they are the parents and Permissive parents are less demanding but more responsive, they give in to every demand /request of their child so that they will not disappoint them. Authoritative and Permissive parenting style falls under the category of over- and under-controlling parents and both are linked to extrinsic motivation.

Uninvolved parenting style is low in both demandingness and responsiveness. These parents are emotionally detached, they spend less time with their child and these parents usually keep their children at a distance. This style lacks the parent and child attachment. Furthermore this style lacks data due to the fact that they are not involved with their children and thus do not volunteer to be studied. Statement of the Problem

Do parents affect the academic achievement and academic motivation of their child? If the child bases it on the way they were treated? How do parenting styles affect a child’s Academic Achievement and Academic Motivation? Hypothesis

Ho: Parenting styles cannot help increase a child’s academic achievement and help them gain academic motivation. Ha: Parenting styles can help increase a child’s academic achievement and help them gain academic motivation.

Significance of the Study
This study will be useful and informative for parents on how to best raise their child and for the future parents to have an idea and awareness of the different approaches that children would prefer. Furthermore through this study, parents who want their children to be more academically motivated and achievement focused will be able to adjust their parenting style according to the parenting style that results in a boost in both Academic Motivation and Academic Achievement.

For this study, the researchers will be using High School Students, preferably 3rd year to 4th year students male or female from both public and private schools. The researchers are aiming for a target sample of about 370 participants. Measures

The researchers will measure perceived parenting style using Paulson’s 1994 Parenting Style and Parental Involvement Questionnaire. This questionnaire is composed of two 15-item subscales on demandingness and responsiveness. This questionnaire follows a 5-point Likert scale format with responses ranging from “very unlike my father/mother” to “very like my father/mother.” These are the corresponding parenting style for the different results:

On the other hand the researchers will use the Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom Questionnaire by Harter, however the researchers will modify the survey to make it more comprehensive for the participants. The questionnaire will consist of 60 items that measure motivation for classroom learning in 5 dimensions along an intrinsic to extrinsic continuum. The first 3 subscales related to intrinsic or extrinsic motivational orientation: (a) preference for challenge vs preference for easy work; (b) curiosity vs working to please the teacher and/or get good grades; (c) independent mastery vs dependence on the teacher. The remaining 2 subscales related to a cognitive-informational orientation: (d) independent judgement about what to do in the classroom vs reliance on the teacher’s opinion; and (e) internal criteria for evaluation of success or failure versus dependence on external criteria (i.e., grades or approval). Procedure

The researchers will present a letter to the school principal asking for permission to conduct a research on Perceived Parenting Styles and its Influence on a child’s Academic Motivation and Academic Achievement. If the letter will be approved by the principal we will set a date for conducting the research. The research will be conducted inside a classroom that the school will provide. The participants will be asked to read and sign a letter of consent that the researchers will provide. After which they will answer 2 questionnaires.

The 1st questionnaire is the Paulson’s 1994 Parenting Style and Parental Involvement Questionnaire; the students will be allotted 30 minutes to answer this particular survey. After they have finished answering they will now answer the 2nd Questionnaire which is the Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom Questionnaire and they will also be given 30 minutes to finish it. When all students are finished they will be asked to write their GPA on the upper right side of the 1st questionnaire then they will pass their survey questionnaires to the researchers. When everyone is done the researchers will hand out the incentives. Then the data of the 1st questionnaire will be tallied using the guide found in Paulson’s 1994 Parenting Style and Parental Involvement Questionnaire. The Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Orientation in the Classroom by Harter will then be tallied.

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