A prospective longitudinal study of consistency and change in parental influence on children's academic achievement

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Yang, Hui-Jane
Major Professor
Jacques D. Lempers
Committee Member
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Human Development and Family Studies

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies focuses on the interactions among individuals, families, and their resources and environments throughout their lifespans. It consists of three majors: Child, Adult, and Family Services (preparing students to work for agencies serving children, youth, adults, and families); Family Finance, Housing, and Policy (preparing students for work as financial counselors, insurance agents, loan-officers, lobbyists, policy experts, etc); and Early Childhood Education (preparing students to teach and work with young children and their families).


The Department of Human Development and Family Studies was formed in 1991 from the merger of the Department of Family Environment and the Department of Child Development.

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  • College of Human Sciences (parent college)
  • Department of Child Development (predecessor)
  • Department of Family Environment (predecessor)

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The purpose of this study was to investigate issues of consistency and change in parenting behaviors and children's outcomes over time, and, prospectively, the nature of the relationship between parents and children's academic achievement. Both family status and family processes were included in the conceptual model. The model investigated how these factors affected parenting behaviors, and how, in turn, these behaviors influence children's attributes and their academic achievement. Pearson correlations and MANOVAs were used to explore consistency and change in parenting behaviors and children's outcomes over time. Structural equation modeling was utilized to elucidate the effect of family status and family processes on adolescent academic achievement. The correlational results showed that parental behaviors were quite stable across time as were children's academic orientation, self-esteem, social adjustment, and academic achievement. Few changes occurred in parenting behaviors and children's outcomes over time. The prospective longitudinal findings indicated that parental education had direct and indirect effects on children's academic achievement. Father's educational level did affect paternal nurturance behaviors, but no relation was found between mother's education and nurturant parenting. Unexpectedly, both parental depression and parental marital happiness had no effects on nurturant parenting. Parental nurturance behavior had an indirect effect on children's academic achievement through children's academic orientation. Gender differences were revealed in some parent-child dyads in the present study. Implications for parents and educators and suggestions for future research were addressed.

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Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1997