, Volume 52, Issue 9-10, pp 597-607

Do Parents’ Academic Gender Stereotypes Influence Whether They Intrude on their Children’s Homework?

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Abstract

In this study, we explored the possibility that when parents endorse particular academic gender stereotypes (e.g., boys are better at math, girls are better at English) they are more likely to engage in uninvited intrusions with homework, intrusions which then undermine children’s confidence in these domains. Participants included 38 fifth to eighth grade students (mean age = 12.16 years, 60% girls, 87% White) and their mothers and fathers. The findings indicated that even though boys received more parental intrusive support with homework, girls were more sensitive to these intrusions, specifically when they involved math. Parents’ intrusive support mediated the relationship between parents’ math-related gender stereotypes and girls’ math ability perceptions, which suggests that these behaviors communicate to girls their parents’ math stereotype beliefs.