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Parents’ Impact on Children’s School Performance: Marital Satisfaction, Parental Involvement, and Mental Health

  • Ming Lui
  • Gilbert K. Lau
  • Vicky C. TamEmail author
  • Hiu-Man Chiu
  • Sandy S. Li
  • Kuen-Fung Sin
Original Paper
  • 47 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

The present study aims to formulate a conceptual model of the mediating factors between parents’ marital satisfaction and children’s academic performance, with a sample drawn from Hong Kong Chinese parents and children. The mediators included parental involvement, parents’ psychopathological symptoms, and children’s internalizing behavior and school engagement.

Methods

Survey responses from 507 Grade 4–6 children and their parents, who were primary caregivers, were analyzed. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine the internal structures of the seven scales, and the finalized scales have moderate to high reliabilities (Cronbach’s α values ranging from 0.74 to 0.95). Structural equation modeling analysis was applied to test the relationships between the latent variables in the proposed model.

Results

Structural equation modeling revealed that parents’ marital satisfaction had a significant indirect effect on children’s academic performance via two pathways: (1) with parents’ psychopathological symptoms, children’s internalizing behaviors, and school engagement as mediators; (2) with parental involvement and school engagement as mediators. Marital satisfaction had no direct effect on school engagement or on academic performance.

Conclusions

Our findings highlighted the importance of parents maintaining harmonious relationships with their spouses and being highly involved in their children’s education, in order to provide an optimal social environment to promote children’s academic development.

Keywords

Marital satisfaction Parental involvement Mental health School engagement Academic performance 

Notes

Author Contributions

ML designed the study and wrote the paper. GKL analyzed the data and wrote part of the paper. VCT collaborated in the writing and editing of the manuscript. HC assisted with the data collection, analyses, and wrote part of the manuscript. SSL provided feedback on the data analyses. KFS was involved in the conceptualization of the study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were conducted in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments, or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by of the Education University of Hong Kong’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10826_2019_1655_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (506 kb)
Supplementary Information

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education StudiesHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.City University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina
  3. 3.Creative Secondary SchoolHong Kong SARChina
  4. 4.Department of Special Education & CounsellingThe Education University of Hong KongHong Kong SARChina

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