Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Role of Parental Support for Learning, Autonomous / Control Motivation, and Forms of Self-Regulation on Academic Attainment in High School Students: A Path Analysis

Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Role of Parental Support for Learning, Autonomous / Control Motivation, and Forms of Self-Regulation on Academic Attainment in High School Students: A Path Analysis

Article excerpt


Starting from a number of core concepts in the theoretical models of selfdetermination theory and self-regulated learning, and based on the results of empirical research, the relations between parental support of learning, behavioral engagement in school activities, strategy use and achievement were put into a complex predictive model that was tested. This study examined the effects of individual differences on parents' autonomy support versus control on academic performance. The results showed that perceptions of parental support for learning involved two pathways: autonomy in learning and a controlled motivation pathway. The first pathway involved a positive relationship of parental autonomy support and autonomous motivation and indicated the importance of the effort and persistence as direct predictors of deep processing. Also, effort and persistence also acted as a mediator between the autonomous motivation and deep processing. The second pathway showed that controlled motivation had a positive effect on procrastination and students' procrastination led to disorganization and implicit low academic performance. The conceptual model and subsequent findings established in this study provide clues for further theoretical development and practical applications concerning the mediating mechanism between parental support for learning and academic performance.

KEYWORDS: psychological control, autonomy, self-determinaton theory, autonomous / control motivation, deep / surfface processing, procrastination

Parent-child relationships (particularly a child's perceptions of these relationships) play an important role in shaping children's adjustment and psychological development, including school related outcomes. One dimension along which to consider this issue is the degree to which parents related with their children in a way that supports children's autonomy rather than controlling their behavior (Grolnick, 2002). Building on previous work on parenting practice, Grolnick, Deci, and Ryan (1997) found that parental autonomy support and parental control are two important dimensions for predicting children's self-reports of autonomous selfregulation, competence and achievement.

The study of the autonomy support is a particularly important topic in current research on parenting. Although past research usually aggregated parenting dimensions in parenting typologies such as authoritarian or permissive, recent research witnesses a renewed interest in the specific effects of the autonomy support vs. psychological control dimension (Barber, 1996; Gray & Steinberg, 1999).

Parental autonomy support is conceptualized as the extent to which parent's value and encourages children's independent problem solving, choice, and participation in decisions, rather than coerce to conform to their expectations through punitive disciplinary practices (Soenens & Vansteenkiste, 2005). A parent can support autonomy while still caring for his child or an adolescent can develop a secure relationship with his parents without feeling controlled in one's actions.

Social contexts that are described as autonomy supportive are characterized as giving people choice and encouragement for personal initiative and also support people's competence in a climate of relatedness (Deci, Ryan, Gagnè, Leone, Usunov, & Kornazheva, 2001). Such contexts are predicted to promote autonomous motivation as opposed to controlled motivation. Rather, the quality of interaction with significant persons, such as parents, can affect the degree to which an individual feels autonomous, competent, and related, and this can affect the degree to which he or she comes to value and even enjoy an initially uninteresting goal or activity. An autonomy supportive person would typically provide a good rationale for asking someone to engage in an activity, and encourage the person to take initiative and convey confidence in the person's abilities (Williams, Gagnè, Ryan, & Deci, 2002, Gagnè, 2003). …

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