The Effect of School Climate and Parenting Style on Academic Achievement

(1) The Neighborhood Academy
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Previous research suggests that there are positive and negative relationships between parenting style and academic achievement and that school climate can potentially mediate the effects of parenting style. Research suggests that less effective styles of parenting tend to negatively affect grades, and more effective styles tend to produce higher grades. The purpose of this study is to verify previous research and confirm those relationships in a sample of African American students in a college preparatory program. We obtained students’ perception of their school’s climate and parent’s parenting styles by conducting a Parental Authority Questionnaire and school climate survey on a sample of freshmen, sophomores, and junior high school students. We then correlated these perceptions to student grades. We found no significant relationship between school climate and academic achievement. However, permissive parenting, which is characterized by low responsiveness and demandingness, exhibited a negative relationship with academic achievement. Authoritarian parenting, a style high in demandingness and low in responsiveness, exhibited a positive relationship to academic achievement. These results suggest that while school climate has little relation to academic achievement, parenting style has a significant impact. The cultural implications for parenting styles and academic achievement are explored more in depth.

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