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Socialization of Achievement Attitudes and Beliefs: Parental Influences

Jacquelynne Eccles Parsons, Terry F. Adler and Caroline M. Kaczala
Child Development
Vol. 53, No. 2 (Apr., 1982), pp. 310-321
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1128973
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128973
Page Count: 12
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Socialization of Achievement Attitudes and Beliefs: Parental Influences
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Abstract

To assess the impact of parents on children's achievement self-concept and related beliefs, extensive questionnaires measuring attitudes and beliefs regarding mathematics achievement were administered to children in grades 5-11 and their parents. The potential influence of parents both as role models and as expectancy socializers was investigated. Both mothers and fathers held sex-differentiated perceptions of their children's math aptitude despite the similarity of the actual performance of boys and girls. The difference was most marked for parents' estimates of how hard their children had to try to do well in math. Parents of daughters believed their child had to work harder to do well in math than parents of sons. Parents of sons thought advanced math was more important for their child than parents of daughters. Parents' perceptions of and expectations for their children were related to both the children's perceptions of their parents' beliefs and to the children's self- and task perceptions. Further, parents' beliefs were more directly related to children's self-concepts and expectancies than were the children's past performances in math. Path analysis supported our hypothesis that the children's attitudes were influenced more by their parents' attitudes about their abilities than by their own past performances. Finally, parents as role models of sex-differentiated math behaviors did not have a direct effect on their children's self-concepts, expectations, or course plans.

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