Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Dilbur Arsiwalla


Academic achievement--Iowa; Education--Parent participation--Iowa; Parent and child;


Past research demonstrates the importance parents have in determining the outcomes in their children’s lives. Of these outcomes, child academic achievement is extremely important. In investigating past research on parenting practices and styles, factors such as parental monitoring and involvement as well as styles of authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting were examined to determine an association with academic achievement in middle school children. Learning disabilities, mental disorders, child personality characteristics and child academic characteristics were other measures explored as buffers in the parenting to academic achievement relationship. Mediating effects were also examined. The current study sampled 179 middle school students (grades 6-9) and their mothers; and a majority of participants were recruited from the Cedar Falls community schools. The results found that parental monitoring and parental involvement with school-related discussions with children was positively associated with academic achievement, although involvement with homework showed a negative relation with academic achievement. Children with low levels of self-regulated learning and self-efficacy benefit academically from high levels of discussion with their parents. However, high levels of child self-efficacy served as a protective factor in cases of high authoritarian parenting. Mediating effects were also explored in child academic and personal characteristics with GPA (emotion regulation, self-regulated learning, and self-efficacy). The findings in this study have implications for early intervention programs for child academic achievement that target both child behaviors and parenting strategies. It also demonstrates how a number of factors can contribute to rates of child academic success, although other factors may be explored in future research.

Year of Submission



Department of Psychology

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


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