Teens who feel responsible to their parents are more engaged in school
As children enter middle school, their engagement in school often declines and so does their achievement. A new longitudinal study looked at students in the United States and in China—two countries likely to have considerably different ideas about adolescence—to find that children who feel more responsible to their parents stay engaged in school and perform better. The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Beijing Normal University. It appears in the journal Child Development.
Researchers asked questions of 825 youths in suburban Chicago and suburban Beijing. The students were part of the University of Illinois U.S.-China Adolescence Study. The children completed questionnaires four times over two years beginning when they started 7th grade. Grades were also charted.
In the United States, but not in China, the youths' sense of responsibility to their parents declined over the two years. But in both countries, youngsters who said they felt responsible to their parents were more invested and engaged in school, and often earned higher grades, independent of the quality of the parent-child relationship. Responsibility was defined as children's feelings of obligation to their parents and their motivation in school to please them, such as meeting parental expectations.
"The findings suggest that parents need to communicate to teenagers the importance of acting responsibily as they enter middle school," according to Eva M. Pomerantz, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the study.
"Explicitly talking with teens about acting responsibly is likely to be useful. Involvement in teens' lives is also very important. For example, when parents are involved in teens' learning, teens tend to develop a sense of responsibility to parents, which maintains their achievement over the middle school years."
- Teens who feel responsible to their parents are more engaged in schoolfrom Science DailyWed, 11 May 2011, 16:31:11 EDT
- Strong relationships make students, teachers feel safer in schoolsfrom PhysorgWed, 11 May 2011, 10:01:13 EDT
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Planet found in habitable zone around nearest star
- How long do you want to live? Your expectations for old age matter
- University of Toronto scientists solve puzzle of converting gaseous carbon dioxide to fuel
- Tropical Depression 14W gets absorbed by system 92W
- Scientists begin to unravel summer jet stream mystery
- Pre-Hispanic Mexican civilization may have bred and managed rabbits and hares
- Neural stem cells in adult mice also vulnerable to Zika
- University of Washington paleontologists discover major T. rex fossil
- Nobel laureate, new technologies show how cancer cells protect chromosomes from decay
- Genetic influence in juvenile songbird babblings