Parent Autonomy Support, Academic Achievement, and Psychosocial Functioning: a Meta-analysis of Research

Abstract

A meta-analysis of 36 studies examining the relations between parent autonomy support (PAS) and child outcomes indicated that PAS was related to greater academic achievement and indicators of adaptive psychosocial functioning, including autonomous motivation, psychological health, perceived competence, engagement, and positive attitudes toward school, among other outcomes. The strongest relation emerged between PAS and psychological health. Results indicated that the strength of the PAS relation was stronger when PAS was reflective of both parents, rather than of just mothers or just fathers among five of six outcomes for which moderators could be examined. Moderator analyses also suggested that PAS correlations are stronger when the outcome is better aligned to the predictor and the relation between PAS and psychosocial outcomes may vary by grade level. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.

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Vasquez, A.C., Patall, E.A., Fong, C.J. et al. Parent Autonomy Support, Academic Achievement, and Psychosocial Functioning: a Meta-analysis of Research. Educ Psychol Rev 28, 605–644 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-015-9329-z

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Keywords

  • Parenting
  • Autonomy support
  • Academic achievement
  • Psychological well-being
  • Meta-analysis