Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 159–178 | Cite as

The Relation of Personal Epistemology to Parenting Style and Goal Orientation in College Mothers

  • Robert RiccoEmail author
  • Pamela Rodriguez


This study sought to establish the relevance of mothers’ epistemic beliefs to their parenting style and preferred academic goals for their child. College mothers (N  =  163) from primarily working class families completed a variety of self-report measures including a modified version of Schommer’s [(1990). Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 498–504] Epistemological Beliefs Questionnaire, the Parental Attitudes Questionnaire-Revised [Reitman, Rhode, Hupp, & Altobello (2002). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 24(2), 119–127], and several goal orientation scales. Results indicated that a view of learning as effortful and under the learner’s control and a view of knowledge as actively constructed were associated with an authoritative parenting style and with a preference for their child to focus on learning, improvement, and effort in approaching academic tasks. By contrast, a view of learning as quick, straightforward, relatively passive and as based in innate constraints and a view of knowledge as consisting of discreet, unambiguous facts were associated with authoritarian and permissive styles and the adoption of performance goals for one’s child.


personal epistemology parental beliefs learning/mastery goals performance goals parenting style product and process 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentCalifornia State University at San BernardinoSan BernardinoUSA

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