Parental Autonomy Support and Student Learning Goals: A Preliminary Examination of an Intrinsic Motivation Intervention
- 1.6k Downloads
In a seven week quasi-experimental study, parents (n = 15) of elementary school students (n = 15) learned autonomy supportive communication techniques that included helping their children set learning goals for homework assignments. Treatment vs. comparison group (n = 30) ANCOVA analyses revealed that the parents in the treatment group perceived their children as becoming more autonomously motivated relative to the comparison group, F(1, 26) = 7.69, p < .05. Children in the treatment group reported increased positive affect toward homework relative to the comparison group, F(1,26) = 5.35, p < .05. Children did not significantly improve on general measures of self reported academic intrinsic motivation or relative autonomy. These preliminary findings suggest that autonomy supportive parenting styles may improve parent’s perceptions of their children’s autonomous motivation and children’s subjective experience of positive affect surrounding homework. In order to draw firmer conclusions about the effects of the intervention, more rigorously controlled studies will be needed in the future.
KeywordsParenting style Homework Intrinsic motivation Elementary school students Goal setting
The author would like to thank the late Jere Brophy for repeatedly sharing insight regarding the application of motivational theories. Mark L. Davison provided helpful consultation regarding statistical analyses. Evelyn Oka, Eugene Pernell, Jr., and Mark Reckase also provided helpful comments while serving on the dissertation committee. Appreciation is extended to the schools, parents, and children who supported or participated in this study.
- Brophy, J. (2004). Motivating students to learn (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Brown, D., Pryzwansky, W. B., & Schulte, A. C. (2001). Psychological consultation: Introduction to theory and practice (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
- Corno, L. (1996). Homework is a complicated thing. Educational Researcher, 25, 27–30.Google Scholar
- Gottfried, A. E. (1986). Chidlren’s academic intrinsic motivation inventory. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
- Joussemet, M., Landry, R., & Koestner, R. (2008). A self-determination theory perspective on parenting. Canadian Psychology, 49, 194–200.Google Scholar
- Munoz, M. A., & Vanderhaar, J. E. (2006). Literacy-embedded character education in a large urban district: Effect of the Child Development Project on elementary school students and teachers. Journal of Research in Character Education, 4(1–2), 47–64.Google Scholar