Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 713–723 | Cite as

Mothers' and Fathers' Attitudes Toward Their Children's Academic Performance and Children's Perceptions of Their Academic Competence

  • Emily P. McGrath
  • Rena L. Repetti

Abstract

Do mothers' and fathers' attitudes towards their children's academic performance influence children's perceptions of their academic competence? Two types of parental attitudes--parents' level of satisfaction with their children's performance in school and the importance parents place on children's academic success--were the focus of this study. The data from children (n = 248), mothers (n = 219), and fathers (n = 146) were consistent with the belief that parents' attitudes play a central role in shaping children's self-perceptions. Mothers' satisfaction was positively associated with both sons' and daughters' perceptions of academic competence, independent of children's actual grades in school. Fathers' satisfaction correlated with sons' self-perceptions, but not when mothers' satisfaction was also included in the model. Both mothers and fathers reported being more satisfied with their daughters' grades than with their sons' grades, despite the fact that there were no actual differences between girls' and boys' academic performance. Finally, the importance fathers (but not mothers) placed on children's academic success was positively associated with girls' self-perceptions.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily P. McGrath
    • 1
  • Rena L. Repetti
    • 2
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaLos Angeles
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaLos Angeles

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