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/ Sep 04, 2018

Balanced Parenting and Success in School

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Measuring Success in School Performance

Scientists measure success in school in a variety of ways. One way is by looking at students’ grades. Ideally, scientists are able to get their hands on students’ actual grades. However, it can sometimes be difficult to collect student transcripts due to privacy concerns.

If they can’t get transcripts, scientists will instead ask students to self-report their grades on a scale. For example, “mostly A’s,” “about half A’s and half B’s,” “mostly B’s” and so on. They then convert that to a grade point average (GPA).

However, scientists understand that grades are not the only thing that makes a student successful in school performance. Graduating high school is another popular tool for measuring success in school.

The Impact of Balanced Parenting on School Performance

Scientists have studied balanced parenting and success in school for many years and often find the same results. Teens raised with a balanced parenting style get higher grades and are more involved in school.

Using a balanced parenting style motivates teens to spend a little bit more time on their homework or raise their hand more often in class. This is because these parents celebrate their teens’ triumphs and support them when they’ve failed. They help them learn from mistakes and correct behaviors that may be hindering performance in school. They are also held to high expectations regarding homework and effort in school and are monitored to meet those expectations.

When teens receive lots of love and support from their parents they better learn how to achieve their goals in school. They also report forming stronger connections with their teachers and peers and are happier overall at their school. These effects are amplified when parents become involved in different aspects of their teen’s school experience, such as helping them with homework and attending their extracurricular events.

Greater involvement by parents in school is linked with greater motivation, competence, and goal-setting for teens. The research is clear, and has been for many years. Teens raised by parents using a balanced style are best equipped to succeed in school.

How do scientists research parenting styles and success in school for teens?

There are also several ways scientists can prove success in school and balanced parenting are linked. Scientists may choose to design a study that looks at a link between success in school and parenting style at one point in time. This is called “cross-sectional” research.

This research is useful because it indicates there is an important link (or “correlation”) between parenting style and success in school. This could affect the advice we give to parents.

Scientists can also research parenting style and success in school at multiple points over a school year to track changes over time. This is called “longitudinal” research. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (or “Add Health”) is a good example of this kind of research. This allows us to draw a much stronger conclusion because the effects of balanced parenting have held up over time.

For example, teens who are close with their parents take more advanced classes in high school. This, and other studies, offer convincing proof that parents who are warm and supportive, who monitor behaviors and set rules, produce better students. Check out this piece to learn how scientists research parenting styles.

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Andy Pool

Andrew Pool, Ph.D., M.Sc. is the Senior Research Manager for the CPTC. He has a doctorate in Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Temple University.

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