Parental Motivation Influences School Performance

If the parents are not motivated, the children are not, according to a study by the Tübingen educational researchers

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Whether parents’ support for learning positively or negatively affects the performance of their children at school depends on how motivated the parents are. In a study, scientists from the Hector Institute for Empirical Education Research at the University of Tübingen have discovered that the performance of children whose parents were interested in mathematics and who highly valued their own professional competence in mathematics were better than the achievements of children, their parents Had little interest in mathematics, and did not classify themselves so well in mathematics, regardless of the intensity of parental support. The results have now been published in Child Development magazine.

The family background plays a decisive role for the motivation and achievement of pupils. Earlier studies have shown that a high interest of the parents in the school development of the children on the average with a more favorable achievement course. It was, however, unclear what kind of parental support would lead to success and which would have the opposite effect. If the parents are too committed, the children can perceive this as a control. Your self-confidence in your own performance can thereby drop and their performance deteriorate. The educational researchers at the University of Tübingen therefore wanted to find out which factors within the family have a positive impact on school performance and which are rather hindering. To this end, they interviewed over 1,500 children from ninth grades as well as their parents.

At the beginning of the study, parents had to answer questions regarding their support in mathematics, for example, whether they would help with homework. They should also provide information on how to assess their own mathematical skills, how much support their children need, how much time and energy they need to support their children, and whether the family is fundamentally interested in mathematics. At the beginning of the study, the students also completed questionnaires in which they assessed their own abilities and reported on their workload and their interest in mathematics. After five months they were questioned again, their achievements and grades were evaluated.

The Tübingen scientists were encouraged in their assumption that the support per se does not lead to better achievements, but there are very specific characteristics within the family that favor good performances. “The best developments were found in children whose parents had a high appreciation of mathematics and who rated their own abilities as high,” explains Isabelle Häfner, the first author of the study. “These children were able to make a difference, whether the parents helped them in their school assignments or not.” This is why it is problematic to attribute good or bad children’s achievements only to parents who support them in their tasks.

The most unfavorable conditions for the children’s performance were found in families where the parents supported their children intensively but did not have any interest in mathematics and did not value their own abilities. Their children had not only poorer grades, but were also unable to inspire mathematics. “Helicopter mothers can hurt their children if they are not interested in the subject in which they want to support their children,” says Häfner. This complex interplay of favorable and unfavorable factors with regard to the performance of pupils must be examined in further studies.

Original Publication:

The present invention relates to a process for the preparation of a method for the production of an aqueous solution of the present invention. A person-centered approach. Child Development . doi: 10.1111 / cdev.12809

Source: University of Tübingen