The differential impact of early father and mother involvement on later student achievement

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father involvement, early parenting, achievement


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the direct and indirect effects of early parenting on later parental school involvement and student achievement. The sample, pulled from the 1st and 2nd waves of the Child Development Supplement data set of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, consisted of 390 children age 2–5 at Time 1 and their families. Fathers’ and mothers’ participation in 5 dimensions of early parenting behaviors was assessed at Time 1, and later parental school involvement and student achievement were assessed at Time 2. Although early paternal and maternal parenting behaviors were not directly related to later student achievement, differences were revealed in the pattern of relationships between early parenting and later parental school involvement for fathers and mothers. In addition, fathers’ later school involvement was found to be negatively related to student achievement, whereas maternal school involvement was found to be positively related to student achievement. These findings provide partial support for the hypothesized differential relationship between fathers’ and mothers’ early parenting and later student achievement.

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