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Parental Involvement: A Sine Qua Non in Adolescents ... · PDF file 3.6 Parenting Styles ... 8.2 Hypothesis 1- Predictors of Parental Involvement ..... 120 8.2.1 Predictors of Mothers’

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  • Parental Involvement: A Sine Qua Non in Adolescents’ Educational

    Achievement

    Inaugural-Dissertation

    zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades

    der Philosophie an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

    München

    Vorgelegt von

    Kingsley Nyarko

    aus

    Ghana, December 2007

  • Referent: Prof. Dr. Sabine Walper

    Korreferent: Prof. Dr. Beate Sodian

    Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 31.1.2008

    i

  • Dedication

    This work is dedicated to my mom, Ernestina Wusuaa Somuaah, who in spite of her financial

    restrictions worked assiduously to bring me this far in my educational endeavors. Mom, I straight from

    my shoulder appreciate all that you have contributed in my life and ask for the blessings of God upon

    your life. Kudos for a great work done!!!

    i

  • Acknowledgements

    In ones quest to achieve a significant feat in their lives demands the efforts and contributions of

    other individuals to act as catalysts to the realization of that feat. In that wise I would like to appreciate

    the untiring contributions of certain persons who through their support, encouragement, and

    motivation helped me to bring this project into fruition or reality.

    First of all, this project could not have come to fruition without the help and invaluable support of

    the Almighty God. To him is praise now and forever more, Amen. In addition, I would like to express

    my deepest and profound gratitude to Professor Dr. Sabine Walper not only for her valuable

    supervision and expert advice, but also for her continuous support, encouragement and motivation. I

    am also indebted to Professor Dr. Beate Sodian and Prof. Dr. Thomas Eckert for being the second and

    third readers of my thesis respectively. Thanks also go to Dr. Moritz Heene for his advice and

    assistance on the statistical section of this project.

    Special thanks also go to my wife- Adwoa Nyarko Antwi and children- Annabel and Elsie Nyarko

    for their understanding and support during this critical moment in my educational career.

    To Appau Amponsah, a dear friend and a master’s student at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana

    who helped me with the administration of the questionnaire, I say thank you very much. I am also

    thankful to Leslie Nkansah Osei-Bonsu for his assistance in formatting the project.

    Thanks to all the teachers and students of University Practice Secondary School, Assin Manso

    Secondary School, and Ghana National College who sacrificed their time and volunteered to take part

    in the study.

    Finally, I am grateful to my parents- Emmanuel Bamfo Nyarko and Ernestina Wusuah Somuaah for

    their immense contributions in my educational career.

    ii

  • Abstract

    This study was conducted in Ghana to investigate, (1) factors that predict parental involvement, (2) the

    relationship between parental home and school involvement and the educational achievement of

    adolescents, (3) the relationship between parental authoritativeness and the educational achievement of

    adolescent students, (4) parental involvement serving as a mediator between their authoritativeness

    and the educational achievement of the students, and (5) whether parental involvement decreases as

    children reach adolescence. 239 students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds between the ages

    of 15 and 20 as well as their teachers took part in the study. As expected, the results indicated a

    positive and significant correlation between mothers and fathers’ home involvement and the academic

    achievement of the students. Mothers’ school involvement, but not the fathers’ was also positively and

    significantly correlated with the educational achievement of the students. However, with respect to

    stepparents, grandparents, and other guardians, their home and school involvement activities were

    found to be non-significant to the academic achievement of the students. Mothers’ occupational status

    emerged as the best predictor of mothers’ home involvement followed by nature of school, mothers’

    marital status, and program of study; whereas nature of school was the best predictor of mothers’

    school involvement, followed by mothers’ occupational status, and program of study. Nature of school

    was the only factor that predicted fathers’ home involvement. Furthermore, mothers and fathers’

    authoritativeness were positively correlated with the students’ educational achievement whereas the

    authoritativeness of stepparents, grandparents, and other guardians were not significantly correlated

    with the school achievement of the students. Finally, parental involvement played a mediation role

    between their authoritativeness and the educational achievement of the students. The findings

    highlight the importance of parental involvement in adolescents’ school success.

    iii

  • Table of Contents

    Dedication ................................................................................................................................................. i Acknowledgements.................................................................................................................................. ii Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents.................................................................................................................................... iv List of Tables ......................................................................................................................................... vii List of Figures ....................................................................................................................................... viii 1 Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 The Role of Families in Children’s Schooling ........................................................................ 1 1.2 Statement of the Problem/A focus on Ghana........................................................................... 7 1.3 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................................ 9 1.4 Overview of the Study ........................................................................................................... 10

    2 Theoretical Background................................................................................................................. 12 2.1 Introduction............................................................................................................................ 12 2.2 Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory ...................................................................... 13 2.3 Structure of the Environment................................................................................................. 14 2.4 The Theory of Overlapping Spheres of Influence ................................................................. 17 2.5 Definition of Terms................................................................................................................ 22

    3 Parental Involvement ..................................................................................................................... 24 3.1 Introduction and Overview .................................................................................................... 24 3.2 Who becomes Involved and Why .......................................................................................... 29

    3.2.1 Parental beliefs and role construction ............................................................................ 30 3.2.2 Social economic resources............................................................................................. 33

    3.2.2.1 Family financial resources ......................................................................................... 33 3.2.2.2 Parents’ occupational status....................................................................................... 34 3.2.2.3 Parental education...................................................................................................... 36

    3.2.3 Family structure ............................................................................................................. 37 3.2.4 Social networks.............................................................................................................. 39 3.2.5 Invitations by the School ............................................................................................... 41 3.2.6 Gender............................................................................................................................ 43

    3.3 Parental Home Involvement .................................................................................................. 46 3.4 Parental Involvement in the School ....................................................................................... 49 3.5 Outcomes of Parental Involvement........................................................................................ 51 3.6

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