European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 235–250 | Cite as

Maternal parenting styles, homework help, and children’s literacy development in language minority and Finnish-speaking families

  • Riitta SikiöEmail author
  • Martti Siekkinen
  • Leena Holopainen
  • Gintautas Silinskas
  • Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen
  • Jari-Erik Nurmi


The aim of this study was to examine the role of mothers’ (language minority mothers, LM, n = 49, and Finnish-speaking mothers, MP, n = 368) parenting styles and maternal help with their children’s homework in the children’s (mean age 11.43 years) literacy skills at fourth grade in Finland. In addition, the moderating effect of a child’s gender on this relationship was investigated. The results showed that the LM mothers used psychological control more than MP mothers. Furthermore, the more LM mothers used warmth and psychological styles of parenting, the more they helped their daughters, not sons, with homework. MP mothers’ parenting styles did not relate to their children’s reading and spelling skills. LM maternal behavioral control parenting styles were positively related, and psychological control was negatively related to children’s reading skills through help with homework. Maternal help negatively related to children’s reading skills in both groups. This research provides also new information to teachers and educators who work in multicultural teams. Because our findings could be applied in the educational settings of multilingual students, they are likely to be of great interest to the visionary scientists, researchers, teachers, and trainees.


Language minority children Maternal helping Parenting styles Reading Spelling 



The preparation of this manuscript has been partly supported by Philosophical Faculty, University of Eastern Finland, grants awarded to Riitta Sikiö. This study has been carried out in the Center of Excellence in Learning and Motivation Research with grant from the Academy of Finland (Nr. 213486 for 2006–2011 and Nr. 125811 for 2008–2009).


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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017
Corrected publication September/2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophical FacultyUniversity of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  3. 3.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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