Parent Involvement in Child Development and Motivation in Schoolwork

ParentInvolvement in Child Development and Motivation in Schoolwork

Tableof Contents

Abstract 3

1.0 Chapter One 4

1.1 Introduction 4

1.2 Background of Research 4

1.3 Definition of Key Concepts 6

1.4 Problem Statement 6

1.5 Aim of Study and Research Questions 8

1.6 Research Overview and Design 10

1.7 Chapter Overview 11

2.0 Chapter Two 11

2.1 Literature Review 11

3.0 Chapter Three 18

3.1 Methodology 18

3.2 Section A 20

3.3 Section B 27

4.0 Chapter Four 31

4.1 Analysis 31

5.0 Chapter five 34

5.1 Conclusion 34

5.2 Recommendations 35

References 36

Appendix…………………………………….…………………..………………………………40

Abstract

Theresearch to quantify just how necessary parenting practices are to achild’s growth and development, and especially the role a parent’sinvolvement can have on the developmental and motivational aspects ofa child is an area that is gaining increasing popularity andsubjected to a lot of analysis. This document is for a researchconducted within the London Boroughs with the aim of evaluating theextent of parental involvement in the affairs of their children ingeneral, and their contribution to children motivation in schoolwork. The research will combine both primary and secondary datacollection, but will be mainly based on primary research. Inaddition, the research will employ both qualitative and quantitativeapproaches, where parents will be required to answer involvement andmotivation related questions through structured questionnaires. Theresults will be analysed with a view to obtain the level of parentalinvolvement with children, as well as the perceived parentalinvolvement with children and their motivation levels in school.

ParentInvolvement in Child Development and Motivation in Schoolwork

1.0Chapter One1.1Introduction

Thischapter is about the overall project in terms of chapterorganization, project objectives, justification, aim and researchquestions as well as hypotheses. It will lay a foundation for therest of the document, and guide the arrangement of the chapters andresearch concepts.

1.2Background of Research

Theresearch is confined with the research area of London Boroughs. TheBoroughs are the central administrative regions in the larger Londonarea, and form also a distinct governing framework for schoolgovernance. Within the region, the schools performance andadministration is conducted by the Office for Standards in Educationunder the individual London Borough Councils (Freysson,2013).The region has a population of approximately eight million,distributed in 32 boroughs. The research respondents are distributedas regularly as possible within the area, using the criteria ofboroughs reporting similar average rating in school performances, andwith an aim of obtaining a representative sample of the largerpopulation (Freysson,2013).The following table was used to select respondent boroughs so as toavoid duplication and obtain representation across the performancespectrum.

Figure1: OutstandingSchools in London’s Boroughs compared to Population

(Freysson,2013)

Thestudy associates good school performance with good averagestudent/pupil performance, a factor that positively correlates withgood student motivation as well as good parenting (which directlyaffects the student’s attitude towards school, their parents, andtheir responsibility towards their own lives (Freysson,2013).

1.3Definition of Key Concepts

Thissection will define the key concepts. Under this research, thefollowing key terms are defined

Motivation-creation of an inner drive towards succeeding in education of life

Studentperformance-the academic rating of a student in comparison with others in thesame level

Responsibility-the awareness that one has the duty of doing something such as schoolwork or domestic duties

Authoritative-parenting style in which a child must obey their parent but with selfexpression and dialogue allowed

Authoritarian-an extreme case of being authoritative where child cannot dialoguewith parent

Permissive-parenting style in which child is free from parental control and maydo as they please

1.4Problem Statement

Theproblem under study is the role that parenting is playing in definingthe future of children. There is an increasing wave of teenageengagement in alcoholism, binge drinking, drug and substance abuse.For instance, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Abuse,39% of high school students had taken some form of alcohol in thepast one month in 2011. In addition, the Center for Disease Controland Prevention notes that 11% of all alcohol consumed in the US isconsumed by teenagers (Center for Disease Control and Prevention,2014). The bulk of this alcohol, 90%, is consumed in form of bingedrinks. The institute notes that alcohol is the most widely abuseddrug among young people in the US, far more than tobacco, and illicitdrugs. Per drinking session, underage drinkers consume more alcoholper person than adults do, a factor which leads to the death of morethan 4,300 persons aged between 11 and 20 in the US per year (Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). After drinking, 8%admitted to have driven a vehicle, while 24% stated that theytravelled with a drunk driver. Another survey, Monitoring the FutureSurvey of 2012, observed that more than 70% of twelfth graderstudents had tried alcohol, compared to 33% of eighth graders. 13% ofeighth graders and 40% of twelfth graders had drunk alcohol in thelast one month. These trends have continued to raise concerns in thesociety, with dropping grades, increasing cases of teenagehospitalisations, rise of violence cases among youths and betweenyouths and adults (in school and home), as well as more frequentfamily breakups being on the rise (Center for Disease Control andPrevention, 2014).

Also,in recent years, researchers have tended to identify variations inthe interaction and childrearing practices, which characterisedfamily life, with the use of parenting styles (Simon2004).Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, who focused onconnection between the parental behaviour and the competence ofinstrumental development, which are the ability to manipulate theenvironments in order to achieve goals, discovered four basicelements that could help to shape successful parenting, demanding vs.undemanding, responsiveness vs. unresponsiveness (Cooper,Lindsay, Nye &amp Greathouse, 1998). Moreover,from these four basic elements, three vital parenting styles wereidentified, these are (1) authoritative (2) authoritarian (3)permissive. Parents with Authoritativestyles establish rules and guidelines their children must obey.Furthermore, this type of style allows the parent to be moreresponsive to their children and prepared to listen to questions,parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing whenchildren fail to meet the expectations (CIS,2012).

Baumrind(1966) argued that, these parents ‘‘observe and impact clearstandards for their children’s misconduct’’ (Baumrind,1966). Authoritarianparentingstyles, children are expected to follow strict rules and guidelinesfailure to meet this expectation usually results to punishment, whenasked parents to explain reasons behind these rules? They mightsimply reply ‘‘becauseI said so’ (cherry,2013), they are not responsive to their children, these parentsdevelop high demands. Cosden(2001) arguedthat, these parents are status oriented, obedience and expectchildren to obeyed orders without explanation. Permissive parents arethe opposite of authoritative and authoritarian. They have anaccepting but lax pattern parenting, in which they make few demands,and give the children freedom of expressions. They rarely monitortheir children’s activities (Hong&amp Lee, 2003). Therefore, the problem that this research seeks toaddress is that of gaps in children development, especially focusingon the lack of parental involvement in children’s schoolperformance and related variables, as well as children discipline,focus, and motivation in their lives (Hong&amp Lee, 2003).

1.5Aim of Study and Research Questions

Thispart will break down the problem statement into various independentsub-parts, which will form the basis of the study, including theformulation of data sourcing methodology and integration of thedifferent aspects of the study objectives. The principal objectivesof the study will be listed here, including:

  • To investigate the nature of modern parenting using parents’ self- reporting styles

  • To investigate the level of motivation that school children develop as a result of the way in which they interact with their parents, especially due to the level of parental involvement in children’s assignment, and other school related activities including parents’ days, school prize giving days, annual meetings, students days among other functions

  • To link the manner of parenting with society’s trends in relation to school performance, children discipline and maturity and their outlook towards life.

Inorder to realize the objectives of the research, and in line withexisting research methodology, this research will be guided by thefollowing research questions:

Researchquestions:

  • What is the level of parental involvement with their children in terms of general guidance regarding matters of discipline, self-esteem, personal responsibility and life development?

  • What is the extent (by percentage of respondents) of parents getting involved in children’s school work activities? This question will use a graduated scale of involvement guided by the parent’s response to questionnaire questions

  • Is there a correlation between the nature and extent of parental involvement with their children’s school work and the child’s performance in school?

  • Is there a correlation between parental involvement and children’s motivation to excel in school work, regardless of whether the children actually do perform well? This question will help to inform further research into whether parental involvement in children’s school activities is the most important determinant in academic performance for children, or how it interplays with other variables such as availability of school materials, nature of school administration, study environment and genetics in determining a child’s academic excellence.

  • In what ways can parental involvement with children be improved in order to help children achieve academic and general life motivation and excellence?

1.6Research Overview and Design

Thispart will lay out the tools to be employed in the study. The primarydata will mainly be collected through the questionnairesstrategically formulated and presented to parents and school goingstudents in different classes with an aim of gaining participants.Theresearch will be conducted randomly within all London boroughs, fromdifferent ethnic background the aim is to investigate parents’perceived involvement in child’s development and their self–reported parenting style. Quantitative method will be applied inthis study. This method will involve administration ofquestionnaires to sample group of research participants, a consentform will be given to each participant. One questionnaire will bemeasuring the level of ‘parenting styles and level of motivations’in educational achievement the second part will be measuringparents’perceived involvement in child’s development.

Inaddition, a questionnaire will be designed and presented to childrenin school-going age with representation across the various grades.This questionnaire is aimed at collecting the views of the childrenregarding their lives, their perceptions regarding the involvement oftheir parents in their circumstances, their education and generaldevelopment especially with regard to the role their parents play asrole models for their children, and the children’s motivation inschool work.

Theresearch is mainly qualitative but will also have a quantitativeaspect. This choice of method is mainly due to the intensive natureof emotional and psychological connections that characterize thevariables in the research including parent- child bonding versuschild’s development, parent involvement in child’s school workversus student’s motivation in school, and child’s motivationversus academic excellence.

1.7Chapter Overview

Thissection will briefly introduce other chapters in the document,including the literature review chapter, methodology chapter,analysis chapter, and the conclusion chapter respectively

2.0Chapter Two2.1Literature Review

Thischapter reviews the available literature regarding the role ofparenting in child development. In addition, the work of variousscholars and researchers regarding parental involvement in childrenschool work and their motivation as well as performance in schoolwill be discussed. Parenting styles and the role children playtowards their personal development has varied with time. During theperiod of industrial revolution, children were seen largely as assetsby their parents and they participated in providing for the largerfamilies alongside older members of the family. Thus, it was ordinaryfor school age children to work part time or even drop out of schooland take full time jobs in mines, factories and sweatshops alongsideother family members. The pay was low and the number of hoursextensive, ranging between 12 to 14 hours daily. Therefore, familieshad to work more in order to barely put food on the table, andparents’ outlook towards investment in children education wascasual or trivial altogether. The end of the industrial revolutionbrought a dawn to the new era-the era of intellectual development(Pecnic,2007).During this period emphasis towards compulsory basic education hasbeen emphasized everywhere in the world as a necessary baseline to ahealthy national development, and literacy rates even in the remotestdeveloping countries have continued to rise (Hoover-Dempsey &ampSandler, 1997).

Today,therefore, literacy levels are measured together with other basiclife requirements such as poverty levels, access to clean water andmortality rates when determining the human development index (HDI).This emphasizes the role that education is playing in global humandevelopment, which is a fundamental goal behind all the humanprocesses undertaken everywhere in the world. Thus, the quality ofeducation that one gets becomes a very vital element in a human’sdevelopment. This quality of education has very strong correlationswith an individual’s elementary school performance, becauseeducation starts at a young age in most countries (NoChild Left Behind Act, 2001).It is during the earlier years of school that children should beguided most keenly on educational matters in order that they attaingood and firm outlook towards education and school. In the earlierperiods of the intellectual age, parents tended to have a strongbelieve in education for their children, even though theirinvolvement in the children’s’ school work was not always strong(Shumow, 1998). This was partly because parents were mostly busyworking to provide for their families as well as meet financialobligations for such investments as mortgages and pensions, both ofwhich still form fundamental family requirements in most developednations.

However,as time advanced and the standards of life improved for most people,parents were able to afford luxury items within the family settingthat provide entertainment for everyone. Sadly, the growth of theentertainment industry, as well as modernisation of most homesettings, have presented increasingly dangerous traps for the parentsseeking to balance between their own lives, and their children’slifestyles (NoChild Left Behind Act, 2001).Today, the average parent spend less time with their children thatthey used to a decade ago, because some work long hours or havemultiple jobs, some are always out meeting friends, business needs,employer duties or other obligations, while some entrust theirchildren to nannies and care takers to avoid having their childrenlimit their jobs (Hoover-Dempsey et.al 2001).

Tomake matters worse, a considerable percentage of modern parentsbelieve in exposing their children to unregulated lifestyles andletting them choose for themselves the way they wish to live. Thelegal drinking age and independence age in most countries continue tobe lowered, thereby allowing children unregulated control of theirown lives from very tender ages. Oneof the most obviously visible and most prevalent effects of parentalnegligence in child upbringing is underage and teenage alcoholism.Thus,the example of teenage alcoholism will be used in this paper as anextreme case of poor parenting, with focus on studies conducted inthe US, UK and Australia. Teenage alcoholism, for instance, which is one of the most prevalentactivities that youth engage in, is an activity that is currentlygaining very negative popularity (Gonzalez-DeHass et.al, 2005).

Considerableresearch has been conducted in the field of teenage alcoholism, andthe role that parents’ or guardians’ alcohol consumption inteenagers’ presence playsin teenage lifestyle changes.Multiple researchers have stated that underage persons get affectedby their parents’ consumption of alcohol in their presence, thereare many maladaptive effects including behavioral, psychological,cognitive, social and emotional (Toney, Kelley, &amp Lanclos, 2003).Reports by the underage victims of parental alcoholism reported beingaffected as manifest through feelings of neglect, social exclusion,feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, and in some circumstances,they have been forced to take responsibility of their homes whereparents are unable to do so. Suchan extreme outcome has strong negative emotional effects on thechild’s development, and is likely also to affect a child’sperformance in schoolwork. However, the nature of influence parental alcoholism has on teenagealcoholism is not heterogeneous, but this differs significantly fromfamily to family (Toney, Kelley, &amp Lanclos, 2003). The reason forthis is that there are other pre-disposing factors to the teenalcoholism problem. Being born of alcoholic mothers, for instance,has an effect on the possibility of offspring alcoholism (Simon,2004). Theimportance of the above statement in parent-child relationship andits bearing on child’s development is that it introduces apre-birth element in the female parent’s role in child development-an alcoholic mother may predispose a child to alcohol, even beforethe child’s birth.Other reasons include the number of family members in the residentfamily, as this affects the amount of time the child needs to spendwith the intoxicated parents, andconsequently the likelihood that this has on negative behaviorchanges and psychological affect on the child.It is assumed that children who have alternatives may spend time withother family members and do not, therefore, have to spend much timewith the parents (Ateahand Durrant, 2005).This limits the exposure they have to alcoholism and this may reducethe effect that associating with alcoholic parents may have on themand their tendency to turn to be alcoholics. In addition, thepsychological changes in the functioning of parents as a result ofalcohol may also affect the way underage persons under their carerespond to parental alcoholism (Walker et.al, 2004).

Oneunderlying influence that was universally observed is that childrenwhose parents used alcohol were more likely to use it (Anderson,Murray and Brownlie, 2002).Bingedrinking, for instance, is the occasional drinking popular withteenagers where they communally drink to extreme intoxication,usually without adult supervision. Becauseof the addictive nature of binge drinking, it has been used in thisliterature review to bring attention to the role that even minornegligence by parents may play in causing irreversible changes inteenage development, changes that have lifetime effects on theaffected children.During binge parties, young people usually result to violent,inappropriate behavior. Psychology today observes that one in fivehigh school girls are binge drinkers, and the figure for boys is evenhigher. Binge drinking means intake of 5 bottles or more for men and4 or more for girls. The volumetric measure of one drink is nominallyone Pint, or roughly half a liter, within a short time. According toLohmann (2013), the trend for binge drinking for boys for the lastten years has declined, while that for girls has remained constant.

Table1: GlobalStatisticalTable for Teenage Binge Drinking

Grade

Percentage binge drinkers

9

45

10

50

11

58

12

62

(Lohmann,2013)

Thefigures above indicate that nearly half of all youngsters have atleast on one occasion taken liquor to uncontrolled extents. This isnot withstanding that the official binge levels of 5 pints for menand 4 for women may be way much higher for younger drinkers, on whoma lesser volume of ingested alcohol might have the same effect as theofficial binge levels (Barber,Stolz, and Olsen, 2005).Children in grade nine are barely teenagers, but almost half havealready been involved in high volume alcohol intake. By 12thgrade, more than 60% of scholars have already been in a bingedrinking party. Arguably, these teens take alcohol in conditions thatare not hidden from their parents because even where the alcohol isconsumed away from home, the extended effects of an after-bingesyndrome lasts at least for 24 hours, albeit more for youngerdrinkers, and it can therefore be safely assumed that parents learnof these binge parties as early as when teens are in 9thgrade. Whether parents are doing enough by way of setting goodexamples for their children, as also by constantly providing a sourceof responsible authority and disciplinary guidance is the object ofthis research. When asked the reasons why they binge drink, the youthand underage drinkers gave a pattern of responses, the most common ofwhich are:

  • Everyone else does it

  • I was bored

  • I act different when am drunk

  • I wanted to explore how it makes one feel

  • My parents do it so it is okay

  • It helps me escape reality

Analysisof these responses already shows a strong correlation between teenagealcohol ( and other substance) abuse and parental negligence, becauseif good parenting is done, children will not feel bored, or gounnoticed or be tolerated when they act drunk, or have to emulatetheir parents in drinking, or want to escape reality as the responsesindicate (Bluestone and Tamis-LeMonda, 1999) ‘.In addition to teenage drinking and parental negligence, there hasalso been suggested some correlation between parent involvement withchildren school activities and their school motivation. Bornstein(2002)also indicates that, there is evidence that links parentalinvolvement with children’s affairs and their control andcompetence. In addition, Pattersonand Fisher (2002)observe that, parents’ involvement and guidance by example is aneffective method of communicating strategies to their childrenregarding successful self management. In addition, parentalinvolvement in school work when their children are studying at homehelps bridge the gap between school and home, helping the studentsintegrate school work as a regular activity they have to partake justlike they have to domestic duties (NoChild Left Behind Act, 2001).This makes it even easier to naturalize school excellence as anecessary outcome of their efforts in study, because everyone in thefamily undertakes home study sessions together with them(Bower-Russa,Knutson and Winebarger, 2001).When children perceive their parents as trusted role models and aspartners in education, they are more likely to personalizeeducational concepts as their responsibility in order to please theirparents, and later as a personal goal. Wissow(2002)asserts that, “no one enjoys confrontation with tasks that exposeone’s incompetence, and that being confident of success is anessential factor for effective learning” In addition, students arelikely to engage in activities and to understand them when they havedeveloped personal interest in them, and do not feel that they aredoing them under duress.

Inaddition to school work, parent’s involvement in children’sgeneral activities is essential in their growth and development.Gonzalez,Holbein, M., and Quilter (2002) postulatedthat, parental involvement in children’s affairs helps to give thema sense of security, and well-being in a world where the adolescentis constantly exposed to emerging challenges such as decliningparent- child time, growing influence due to media liberalisation,less legislative control on family issues, and an ever expandinginternet influence (NoChild Left Behind Act, 2001).

Globalization,or the formation of a global village through social media platforms,is a concept that has obliterated norms and morality as localized toindividual countries or communities, and has introduced, instead, aglobal wave of uncultured youth governed by the movie world and otherfantasies which do not exist in real life. Thus, the emergingcultures are devoid of parental guidance in teenage affairs in thetraditional sense, today’s teens are more liberal, more globalised,and seemingly more in control of their own lives than teens in thelast generation. Parents, too, seem to have let go of their influenceon their teenage children, believing that parental control in the oldsense is invalid and of the past, and that strict control ofchildren’s affairs is likely to alter the children’s growth andprospects in a world progressively leaning towards liberalism (Xu &ampCorno, 1998). While some form of parental recognition of the paradigmshift in social-economic and social-political affairs in the newworld order is important in helping children maintain a competitivestand in line with technology, it is also important for parents tounderstand that a child’s development course is only marginallyinfluenced by technology, and must follow the normal biologicalcourse. Thus, today’s youths need much keener and closerassociation with their parents than teens in the last decade, becausethe ease of affect by exposure to media is much more today than itwas in the last decade, especially as a result of their growingexposure to internet.

Adunyarittigun(1997) alsosuggests that, not only is parental involvement a motivator forchildren, but that children motivation may also influence parents topartake in school related activities with their children. Forinstance, motivated children may suggest to their parents that theyallow and facilitate them to attend community libraries outsidenormal school time. This point of view expounds the view of thisresearch field to incorporate non-parent originated motivation inchildren, and its influence on parents (Franenkeland Wallen, 2003).As such, it is also possible to have children whose personalitytraits are superior to those of their parents, and that therefore theparents are behaviorally challenged by their children. In effecttherefore, this research will take the direction of parentalinfluence in children, not the children’s influence on theirparents.

3.0Chapter Three3.1Methodology

Thischapter deals with the actual data gathering for the research. It isinformed by the previous chapter, and leads to a meaningful analysisin the next chapter. The research will be conducted within six out ofthe 32 London Boroughs. The six selected regions will be selectedfrom the boroughs using the concept revealed in figure one, withthree sets of boroughs of high, medium and low rating chosen. Twoboroughs with relatively high number of outstanding schools perpopulation unit will be selected, so will schools with mediumperformance and then schools with low performance. The two boroughsselected with a high number of schools with outstanding performanceper 10,000 households are Harrow and Kingston upon Thames. These twohave an average of 3.0 to 3.5 outstanding schools per 10,000households. From the middle rating, the study will use Lamberth andWandsworth, both with between 1.5 and 2.0 schools per 10,000households. In the lower rated segment, the study will use WalthamForest and Baxley, both with less than 1.0 outstanding schools per10,000 households. This distribution of respondents will give arepresentative sample of the population, with a pre-researchassumption that academic excellence is a good marker of the variouscategorisations for the research.

100questionnaires were distributed to each of the six selected boroughsrandomly within different households. The respondents were given aperiod of one week in which to fill in the questionnaires. Care andprofessionalism was employed in the design of the questionnaires toavoid disclosure of personal data, and consent forms were duly filledbefore any participants were given the questionnaires. Therespondents were allowed the choice of either sending the filled inquestionnaire or have them collected in sealed unmarked envelops fromthe respondents.

ResearchResults

Intotal, 600 questionnaires were distributed within the selectedboroughs. The table below shows the distribution and response reportsfor the questionnaires.

Table2: Questionnaires’feedback

Borough

Questionnaires sent

Questionnaires returned

Percent response

Harrow

100

87

87%

Kingston

100

80

80%

Lambeth

100

79

79%

Wandsworth

100

80

80%

Waltham

100

56

56%

Bexley

100

63

63%

Total

600

445

74.17%

Thetable above shows an average respondent rate of 74%, with distinctdifferences in response rates already showing between the higher andlower regions. Significantly, these differences are likely to havequalitative differences in the information obtainable through thisresearch.

3.2Section A

Thefirst questionnaire was designed to obtain parent’s involvement inchildren’s education. The first question was intended to obtain theparent/guardian’s age group. This question is important in order todiscriminate parental involvement in children education againstparental age group, as differently aged parents are likely to havedifferent outlook towards child education, and their role in helpingchildren achieve school objectives.

Table3: AgeDistribution of respondents

Borough

Gender

18-25

26-32

33-40

41-49

50-55

56-65

&gt65

Harrow

Male

39

8

6

20

1

4

Female

48

6

17

22

3

Kingston

Male

40

8

15

15

2

Female

40

6

19

5

5

5

Lambeth

Male

37

1

2

10

8

7

7

2

Female

42

2

9

10

12

9

Wandsworth

Male

43

11

23

5

1

2

1

Female

37

1

13

9

8

5

1

Waltham

Male

26

3

8

7

5

3

Female

30

3

12

4

9

2

Bexley

Male

30

4

4

15

7

Female

33

2

5

10

8

5

3

Total

445

13

3%

87

19.5%

146

32.8%

126

28.3%

42

9.4%

23

5.1%

8

1.8%

Thetable above indicates that the majority of respondents were in theage group of 33-40 years, with a preference of 32.8%, followedclosely by the age group of 41-49 years. These groups arerepresentative of the modern family structure in modern Britain andthe larger part of the developed nations. The majority of parentshave only one child, some two, but seldom more than three. Only 3% ofthe respondents were in the age category of 18-25 years, which isrepresentative of the society structure of the boroughs in terms ofparents with school going children (Kaffash,2010).

Inaddition, 1.8% of the respondents were aged 65 years and beyond. Thisfigure is not representative of the modern structure of the Britishpopulation, as statistically, about 16% of people in Britain are aged60 years and above. However, the majority of the elderly have nochildren in school, and only few are living with any descendants atall. The figure also shows a larger concentration of young parents inthe lower rated boroughs, with 9 out of the 13 parents aged 18-25years in the bottom third of selected boroughs. In addition, theoverall respondent structure shows more women respondents than menrespondents, with Wandsworth being the only borough with more menrespondents than women respondents. This observation shows a highertendency for women to get involved in children’s affairs than maleparents. It is important to note that the questionnaires weredistributed randomly within homes, with no deliberate efforts made toprefer a certain parent gender (Kaffash,2010).

Thenext section is a response section for parent involvement inchildren’s education. The first table is a combined response forthe two questions highlighted below. To distinguish betweenresponses, different color codes are used for each question and acorresponding color used to mark the number of respondents percategory in the table.

Questions:

  1. Little help from me will enable my child to progress in education.

(2)My child can achieve better grade with my effort on his or herhomework.

Table4: Responsefrom various locations based on gender

Borough

Gender

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Harrow

Male

39

11,11

23,23

8,8

-,-

-,-

Female

48

25,27

10, 10

9,8

2,2

2,1

Kingston

Male

40

16,19

18,15

5,5

-, 1

1,-

Female

40

18,20

14,14

6,4

2,2

-,-

Lambeth

Male

37

12, 18

18, 14

3,0

4,3

-,-

Female

42

16,16

20, 24

6,1

-,-

-,1

Wandsworth

Male

43

12,16

19,15

5,4

6,2

-,5

Female

37

14,14

10,12

8,6

3,2

2,3

Waltham

Male

26

8,10

8,8

5,3

2,2

3,3

Female

30

12,12

7,3

11,15

-,-

-,-

Bexley

Male

30

7, 8

9,9

9,7

5,5

-,-

Female

33

12,14

12,10

8,8

-,-

1,-

Total

445

163,185

36.6%,

41.6%

168,157

37.8%

35.3%

83,69

18.9%

15.5%

24,19

5.4%

4.3%

9,13

2.0%

3.0%

Overall,163 respondents out of 445, or 36.6%, strongly agree that a littlehelp from them could help their children with their education. Thisis slightly less than the figure of those who just agree to the samequestions, at 37.8%. In addition, almost 19% of respondents failed torespond to the question, and were therefore assumed to have a neutralstand regarding the issue. The total of those who disagree orstrongly disagree is 7.4%. Thus, broadly taken, 74% of parents hadsome form of agreement that their slight efforts towards theirchildren’s education would help them improve.

Onthe second question, parents were asked whether they believed thattheir direct involvement with their children’s homework could helpthe children improve their grades. This question was strategicallymeant to assess the conviction that parents had of the importance ofdirect involvement in children’s education. In essence, thisquestion is a specific example of question one, in which the parent’shelp with their child’s education could take any of various forms.The figures for this question show a slight variation from the otherquestion (Freysson,2013).A total of 41.6% of parents strongly agree that their help withchildren’s homework does help the children improve their grades.The number of those who just agree, however, declines slightly to35.3% from the observed figure of 37.8% in the first question. Thisrepresents the level of faith that parents have in themselves’ inhelping teach their children in academic matters. In agreement, theresponse also shows a decline in the number of respondents who didnot respond, with 15.5% of the respondents failing to answer comparedwith close to 19% in the first case. The total percentage of thosewho disagree with the statement remained steady at 7.3%. Again inthis question, like in the first, more women tended to agree with theassertion than men, with more women showing an upbeat attitudetowards helping their children in school work than men.

Thenext question was with regard to the ability of the parent toactually help their children. The question was whether the parentsfelt capable of helping the children whenever they were indifficulty. The next question was intended to test if the parentsbelieve that the fate of their children in school performance isdependent on them. The table below is a summary of results of the twoquestions.

Table5: of Results of the Two Questions

Borough

Gender

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Harrow

Male

39

14,5

15,11

3,15

2,4

5,4

Female

48

14,8

17,9

8,10

5,12

4,9

Kingston

Male

40

19,10

12,9

3,6

3,7

3,8

Female

40

16,11

7,9

6,12

6,1

5,7

Lambeth

Male

37

14,7

15,11

1,3

4,8

3,8

Female

42

17,12

8,13

10,7

0,2

7,8

Wandsworth

Male

43

10,7

13,15

10,10

5,6

5,5

Female

37

9,11

19,9

2,3

5,8

2,8

Waltham

Male

26

9,5

7,4

4,5

1,7

5,5

Female

30

13,8

8,9

8,4

1,2

0,7

Bexley

Male

30

7,7

10,9

2,7

6,3

5,4

Female

33

11,9

9,10

2,1

3,6

8,7

Total

445

153,100

34.5%

22.5%

140,128

31.5%

28.8%

59,83

13.3%

18.7%

41,66

9.2%

14.9%

52,80

11.7%

18.0%

Accordingto the table, a significantly large number of parents still thinkthey can help their children with difficult situations. In total,34.5% of respondents strongly agree that they can handle difficultiestheir children face, and 31.5% just agree. The total percentage ofthose who agree is 66%, while those who did not respond are 9.2%.However, unlike in the previous questions, a rising number (20.9%) ofrespondents disagree with the statement. In addition, there is ageneral decline in the number or percentage of parents who admit tohaving a leading role in their children’s academic success. In thesecond question, of whether a parent believes they have a major rolein their children’s academic success, there emerges a significantvariation from the general trend observed in the questions above. Thenumber of respondents who strongly agree that their role inchildren’s academic success is a major one is only 22.5%, while28.8% just agree that they have a major role. In addition, 18% failto respond, while the sum of those who disagree is almost 33%. Thisobservation is indicative of the existing distance parents putbetween them and their children’s academic success, even whileadmitting that they can intervene in their children’s school work,and that they believe their intervention can help their childrenrealise academic progress.

Inquestion number five, the parent was required to state their standregarding whether the spare time they had was sufficient for helpingtheir children. In summary, more than half (64%)of the respondentsdid not feel that the spare time they had was enough for theirchildren’s homework , while 18 % did not respond at all. Thismeans that the reason why most parents do not engage in helping theirchildren with their homework is partly because parents believe theydo not have enough time for their children. In other words, parentsare generally too busy to find time for their children. Thisobservation was very prevalent in the younger parents’ category,between ages 18-40 years. In addition, parents in the neighborhoodsof the lower performance boroughs tended to show a higherdisagreement regarding the sufficiency of time they have to help withchildren’s homework (Ormrod,2000).

Thenext question was with regard to how parents perceive the influenceof other children on their children with regard to the academicprogress. This question needed to gauge how parents’ rate peerinfluence on their children compared to their own influence, and thusin effect what level of control they (parents) have on theirchildren. In this regard, the cumulative percentage of parents whofelt like they have control above other children regarding theirchildren’s grade was 58%, with 27% strongly agreeing and 31%feeling they just had stronger influence on their children than otherchildren. In addition, this is the single question which recorded thehighest number of respondents without certainty of their standing,with approximately 32% of all respondents failing to answer thequestion. Most young parents, therefore, seem to be neglecting theirresponsibilities towards their children and entrusting their academicdevelopment almost entirely to their teachers and tutors.

Thenext important question was with regard to whether parents felt thatthey were instrumental in changing their children’s school grades.In this question, 25% of respondents felt that they strongly wereinstrumental in their child’s school grades in a positive way. Inaddition, 18% felt that they just were influential in the child’sperformance, while 12% were unresponsive. In total, 45% of allrespondents felt that they were not influential in their children’smarks in school. This question also showed a preference pattern, withparents in higher performing regions generally agreeing that theywere very influential in their children’s performance. Parents inlower performing boroughs reported less control in their children’sacademics. In addition, both the very young and the elderly parentsreported less control in the grades their children obtained, whilerespondents in the middle category (40-49 yrs) tended to show moreconfidence in their participation in their children’s educationalmatters and their grades.

3.3Section B

Thissection dealt with self-reporting by parents regarding theirparenting styles. In summary, the section was aimed at providinginsight regarding how parents perceived children development, theirrole in the process, and how deeply involved they actually were inthis aspect. The first and second questions are as below

(1)Itreat my child as an equal member of the family

(2)I find it difficult to discipline my child

Table6: Self-reportingby parents regarding their parenting styles

Borough

Gender

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Frequently

Very frequently

Harrow

Male

39

6, 13

6,8

5,6

8,8

14,4

Female

48

11, 20

6,9

8,9

5,6

18,4

Kingston

Male

40

9,14

11,7

13,10

4,6

3,3

Female

40

12,16

8,8

11,7

7,5

2,3

Lambeth

Male

37

6,8

12,12

4,4

7,4

8,9

Female

42

15,13

6,7

10,8

6,10

3,4

Wandsworth

Male

43

9,12

13,10

12,8

-,5

9,8

Female

37

10,9

8,12

9,6

5,2

5,8

Waltham

Male

26

7,12

4,1

8,2

7,3

-,8

Female

30

9,8

6,2

7,3

4,5

4,12

Bexley

Male

30

12,4

3,7

4,10

4,5

4,4

Female

33

10,5

7,3

6,6

8,7

2,12

Total

445

116,134

26.1%

30.1%

90,86

20.2%

19.3%

97,79

21.8%

17.8%

65,66

14.6%

14.7%

72,79

16.2%

17.8%

Accordingto the table, 26% of all respondents never treat their child as anequal member of the family, while 16.2% said that they treat childrenas equal family members very frequently. This question had the mostuniform distribution of any question asked, with almost everycategory getting a uniform 20% response preference. This question’sresponse is a reflection of how confused the adult population is withregard to finding the position of children in the home. It is veryunclear to parents what position children should take in the family,whether to be treated as adults or as children, to be allowed totalfreedom or to be dominated. This question is an importantpre-requisite to the following questions, which show how parents aretreating their children. The second question was to gauge howdifficult parents found it to discipline their children. Disciplinehere means any action meant to reprimand a child upon engagement inbad behavior. The second question already shows that a total of 32.2%of all parents have a problem with disciplining their children, while49.4% of all parents said they have no problem disciplining theirchildren. In addition, 17.8% of all respondents have problemssometimes. The substance of being unable to discipline children mayrange from being incapable to set boundaries over what children mayand may not do, to just ignoring bad behavior when they (parents) arealready convinced of it (Freysson,2013).

Thethird question was with regard to whether the parents punish theirchildren by withholding emotional expressions. This observation wasmost prevalent with young parents in the category 25-32 years andrelatively high too in the category 32-40 years. In total, 48% ofparents already admit to this method of punishment for children. 18%of respondents did use this method only sometimes. The next questionwas with regard to use of criticism to make children improve theirbehavior. In general, about 63% of all parents use some form ofcriticism to make their children improve their behavior, favoringcriticism to reprimanding or physically disciplining their children(Ormrod,2000).The majority of criticism involves comparing their children’sbehavior to that of others of similar position age wise and drawingthe child to the contrast in whatever issue of indiscipline such asmaturity, cleanliness, obedience among others. In addition, a largenumber of younger parents admitted to using yells to discouragechildren from bad behavior. 88% of parents in the categories 18-25and 31-41 years admitted to using yelling at some point in the childdiscipline process, against only 4% of parents above 65 years old.

Inthe next question, 30% of parents admitted to ignoring theirchildren’s behavior, while only 8% never ignore it. In total, 52%of all parents maybe ignoring their children’s behavior in someway, and the next question was to determine whether parents knowingspoil their children. This question received a uniform distributionacross the age groups and boroughs. In general, about half of allparents admitted to some instances of spoiling their children, whileabout half said they don’t spoil their children. Spoiling, here,means any action or inaction on the part of the parent that mayhinder a child’s responsible development, especially where thechild is treated as though they were less able than they are. In thenext question, the parents were asked if they explain theirexpectations for their children. Overwhelmingly, 92% of all parentssaid that they explain their expectations for the children, and only2% said they never explain them. The importance of explaining tochildren one’s expectation of them is important in helping childreninternalise their goals, and develop self incentives for improvingtheir circumstances. In the next question, the parents were askedwhether they encourage children to express their feelings. In thisregard, 62% of parents state that they encourage their children toexpress themselves, while only 4% never encouraged self expression bychildren. This shows the growing liberalism in the modern familysetting, where children are allowed independent development. However,setting a limit to self expression by children is also an importantaspect of parenting as it leads to healthy growth. Similarly, amajority of parents (67%) said that they complement their childrenwhen they do something good, while 6% said that they rarelycompliment them upon doing well. As with regard to respecting theirchildren’s opinions, the response distribution was uniform, withmore than half of respondents saying they respected their children’sopinions. In this question, 38% of all respondents said that theyfeel the need to respect their children’s opinion sometimes.Overall, the younger parents seemed to give their children morefreedom and autonomy than the older parents, and also tended todiscipline them less than the older parents. With respect to theboroughs, parents in the lower performance segments also showed lessdisciplinary action, more liberalism towards children behavior, andlesser confidence in the sufficiency of the time available forhelping children with their school work.

4.0Chapter Four4.1Analysis

Thischapter will focus on analysis of the data with an aim of coming upwith conclusions that confirm or discredit the hypotheses in linewith the overall research objectives. The data to be analysed will bethe data obtained from the various research questions.

Chat1: Gender

Overall,the women participants were more than men. With respect to parentalinvolvement with children education, the following charts illustratethe outcome. Analysis was done using the variables of observationagainst gender, borough, and parental age group.

Chat2: Respondentsby Borough and Gender

Thenext analysis chart is with regard to the way parents’ rate theirhelp for their children, their faith that whatever helps given canmake a difference, their ability to help their children, andperception regarding the available spare time.

Chat3: ParentsConfidence in child support

Inthis chart, the overall parents confidence in being able to helptheir children is evident in that more than 60% have admitted tohaving helped their child with academic work at some point, and anequal number feeling confident that they can easily handle thedifficulties that the child experiences. However, this chart shows avery grave parent belief that they do not have enough time to helptheir children with school work. This factor appears more conceptualand psychologically seated than it is actual, because very few of therespondent parents help their children even for the few moments thatthey admit to have time. In addition, a large percentage of parentshold peer influence as a very important influence on the child’sdevelopment, with major asserting that their own influence on theirchildren is less than peer influence.

Thenext chart was with regard to parents’ responsibility in childdevelopment in terms of discipline, outlook towards their situation,and responsibility for their actions.

Chat4: Parents’Responsibility in Child Development

Thecombined chart above shows a general directionality of parentingstyles typical of the modern world, where parents take considerableeffort to deviate from traditional totalitarian methods of childupbringing, but nonetheless attempt to maintain an upper hand onchildren behavior and development. Children today are seen more likeany other family member, are rarely disciplined 20% of the time, andonly 15% of parents discipline them frequently. The chart also showsthat an overwhelming number of parents try to teach reason tochildren, as opposed to blind obedience. This is a very positive steptowards early childhood development and initiative taking (NoChild Left Behind Act, 2001).

Researchlimitations

Thisresearch had some limitations. The two major variables that were tobe compared were parental involvement, and child’s performance bothas measured through general development and through academicperformance. No statistical correlation analysis was performed on theset of variables used in the study. The research was based entirelyon self reporting by the involved respondents, and all furtheranalyses done for the research was based on quantitative andqualitative data obtained from the questionnaires only. Individualself reporting maybe prone to skewed data that maybe biased towardsanswers considered morally, socially or economically more superior byrespondents. The reason for omission of statistical analysis of thedata obtained is that the research was of a limited time and scope,which is in addition to resources limitation.

5.0Chapter five5.1Conclusion

Therole that parenting is playing in the academic and generaldevelopment of children is still very important today. It has beenobserved through the research that the average family in the Londonboroughs is bringing up its children in the modern way. It has beenobserved that the younger parents are especially having problems withdisciplining their children, while the average parent is finding itharder to reprimand their children today than the previous generationparents. The lower performing boroughs have been observed to have aslightly higher concentration of younger parents, as well as anincrease in the number of women parents. This observation may alsobring into the research the perspectives of economic statuses ofparents, as well as the single parent factor into child upbringing.Lack of sufficient capital to access good schools, and the financialstruggle of single parents- with low income can be a cause ofparenting challenges. A case in consideration is where a young singleparent has no stable employment, and therefore needs to work longerhours or multiple jobs in order to meet family needs. This may beincreasing the divide between parent and child.

Inaddition, the average parent today is entrusting the child with selfcare responsibilities over and above the healthy limit. Parents failto balance allowing the child enough space and grow and expressoneself with the practice of self expression within moral limits ofthe social norms and responsible parenting.

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Appendix

Figure1: OutstandingSchools in London’s Boroughs compared to Population

Table1: StatisticalTable for Teenage Binge Drinking

Grade

Percentage binge drinkers

9

45

10

50

11

58

12

62

Table2: TheDistribution and Response Reports for the Questionnaires

Borough

Questionnaires sent

Questionnaires returned

Percent response

Harrow

100

87

87%

Kingston

100

80

80%

Lambeth

100

79

79%

Wandsworth

100

80

80%

Waltham

100

56

56%

Bexley

100

63

63%

Total

600

445

74.17%

Table3: AgeDistribution

Borough

Gender

18-25

26-32

33-40

41-49

50-55

56-65

&gt65

Harrow

Male

39

8

6

20

1

4

Female

48

6

17

22

3

Kingston

Male

40

8

15

15

2

Female

40

6

19

5

5

5

Lambeth

Male

37

1

2

10

8

7

7

2

Female

42

2

9

10

12

9

Wandsworth

Male

43

11

23

5

1

2

1

Female

37

1

13

9

8

5

1

Waltham

Male

26

3

8

7

5

3

Female

30

3

12

4

9

2

Bexley

Male

30

4

4

15

7

Female

33

2

5

10

8

5

3

Total

445

13

3%

87

19.5%

146

32.8%

126

28.3%

42

9.4%

23

5.1%

8

1.8%

Table4: Response

Borough

Gender

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Harrow

Male

39

11,11

23,23

8,8

-,-

-,-

Female

48

25,27

10, 10

9,8

2,2

2,1

Kingston

Male

40

16,19

18,15

5,5

-, 1

1,-

Female

40

18,20

14,14

6,4

2,2

-,-

Lambeth

Male

37

12, 18

18, 14

3,0

4,3

-,-

Female

42

16,16

20, 24

6,1

-,-

-,1

Wandsworth

Male

43

12,16

19,15

5,4

6,2

-,5

Female

37

14,14

10,12

8,6

3,2

2,3

Waltham

Male

26

8,10

8,8

5,3

2,2

3,3

Female

30

12,12

7,3

11,15

-,-

-,-

Bexley

Male

30

7, 8

9,9

9,7

5,5

-,-

Female

33

12,14

12,10

8,8

-,-

1,-

Total

445

163,185

36.6%,

41.6%

168,157

37.8%

35.3%

83,69

18.9%

15.5%

24,19

5.4%

4.3%

9,13

2.0%

3.0%

Table5: of Results of the Two Questions

Borough

Gender

Strongly agree

Agree

Neutral

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Harrow

Male

39

14,5

15,11

3,15

2,4

5,4

Female

48

14,8

17,9

8,10

5,12

4,9

Kingston

Male

40

19,10

12,9

3,6

3,7

3,8

Female

40

16,11

7,9

6,12

6,1

5,7

Lambeth

Male

37

14,7

15,11

1,3

4,8

3,8

Female

42

17,12

8,13

10,7

0,2

7,8

Wandsworth

Male

43

10,7

13,15

10,10

5,6

5,5

Female

37

9,11

19,9

2,3

5,8

2,8

Waltham

Male

26

9,5

7,4

4,5

1,7

5,5

Female

30

13,8

8,9

8,4

1,2

0,7

Bexley

Male

30

7,7

10,9

2,7

6,3

5,4

Female

33

11,9

9,10

2,1

3,6

8,7

Total

445

153,100

34.5%

22.5%

140,128

31.5%

28.8%

59,83

13.3%

18.7%

41,66

9.2%

14.9%

52,80

11.7%

18.0%

Table6: Self-reportingby parents regarding their parenting styles

Borough

Gender

Never

Rarely

Sometimes

Frequently

Very frequently

Harrow

Male

39

6, 13

6,8

5,6

8,8

14,4

Female

48

11, 20

6,9

8,9

5,6

18,4

Kingston

Male

40

9,14

11,7

13,10

4,6

3,3

Female

40

12,16

8,8

11,7

7,5

2,3

Lambeth

Male

37

6,8

12,12

4,4

7,4

8,9

Female

42

15,13

6,7

10,8

6,10

3,4

Wandsworth

Male

43

9,12

13,10

12,8

-,5

9,8

Female

37

10,9

8,12

9,6

5,2

5,8

Waltham

Male

26

7,12

4,1

8,2

7,3

-,8

Female

30

9,8

6,2

7,3

4,5

4,12

Bexley

Male

30

12,4

3,7

4,10

4,5

4,4

Female

33

10,5

7,3

6,6

8,7

2,12

Total

445

116,134

26.1%

30.1%

90,86

20.2%

19.3%

97,79

21.8%

17.8%

65,66

14.6%

14.7%

72,79

16.2%

17.8%

Chat1: Gender

Chat2: Respondentsby Borough and Gender

Chat3: ParentsConfidence

Chat4: Parents’Responsibility in Child Development