Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Parental Warmth and Academic Achievement of Adolescent Children

Academic journal article Journal of Behavioural Sciences

Parental Warmth and Academic Achievement of Adolescent Children

Article excerpt

Parent-child interaction has long been considered to have a crucial influence on a child's academic performance and development (Barnard & Kelly, 1990). It is a form of communication between a parent and a child which has a reciprocal effect (Russo & Owens, 1982). Children's higher school achievement rates, higher attendance rates, lower delinquency and dropout rates, and increased high school completion rates are enhanced by a strong parent-child relationship (Ziegler, 1987). A number of studies have reported that a warm and responsive parentchild interaction is positively related to self-esteem, social acceptability, and achievement in young children (Estrada, Arsenio, Hess & Holloway, 1987; Bradley, Caldwell & Rock, 1988).

Rohner (Rohner & Khaleque, 2006) formulated the Parental Acceptance-Rejection Theory (PARTheory) which is robust and used worldwide regardless of differences in culture, race, gender, geographic context, or such defining conditions. In PARTheory, parental acceptancerejection refers to warmth dimension of parenting with parental acceptance at the positive end of the continuum and parental rejection at the negative end. Parental acceptance refers to the love, affection, care, comfort, support, nurturance, and other such behaviors that parents can feel or express toward their children. Parental rejection refers, on the other hand, to the absence of withdrawal of warmth, love, support, or affection by parents toward their children. Worldwide, parental acceptance-rejection can be expressed or perceived in any one or a combination of major ways which include warmth/affection, hostility/aggression, indifference/neglect, and undifferentiated rejection (Rohner & Khaleque, 2006). Undifferentiated rejection refers to individuals' belief that their parents do (or did) not really love, want, appreciate, or care about them, without necessarily experiencing any clear behavioral indicators that the parents are (or were) neglecting, unaffectionate, or aggressive toward them.

The relation between parental acceptance and academic achievement of children was explored in a number of studies. Recently, a study carried out in the Mississippi Delta Region of the United States on 362 seventhgrade adolescents reported that perceived maternal acceptance was significantly correlated with boy's GPA but neither maternal nor paternal acceptance was correlated with girl's academic achievement (Khan, Haynes, Armstrong & Rohner, 2010). Another study carried out in Estonia on 224 sixth graders reported that parental acceptance (both father and mother acceptance) was not significantly related to academic achievement of either boys or girls (Tulviste & Rohner, 2010). Elias (2006) investigated a slightly different but related issue in Bangladesh on 100 students; 50 from fourth and fifth grade each. The results showed no significant relation between parent-child interaction and academic achievement.

It appears from the above literature that the relation between parental acceptance and academic achievement of the children is not conclusive. Also, no research has so far been carried out to directly address this issue in the cultural context of Bangladesh. Therefore, the present study is a worthwhile step that aims to examine whether parental acceptance is related to academic achievement of adolescent children of Bangladesh.

Method

Sample

A total of 300 students of 7th, 8th, and 9th grades constituted the sample of the present study. The students were taken from four schools namely, Nilkhet High School, University Laboratory School, Gulshan Model School, and Community Center Ideal School of the capital city Dhaka. Both the students and the schools were selected purposively. The principal of each school was approached for his/her cooperation. Three enumerators individually administered questionnaires in his assigned class. They were advised to administer questionnaires on 25 students from each class. …

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