Doing homework together: The relation between parenting strategies, child engagement, and achievement.
Arnold, David H.
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This study of 61 elementary school children examined how maternal behavior and child engagement in a homework-like task relate to reading achievement, and whether task engagement mediates the relation between parenting and reading achievement. Maternal behaviors and task engagement were examined using videotaped observations of mother-child interaction during a homework-like task. Children participated in reading achievement testing, and schools provided reading/language arts grades. Children who displayed higher task engagement performed better on measures of reading achievement. Maternal support for autonomy predicted reading achievement, even controlling for support for relatedness and competence. In addition, support for autonomy was a significant predictor of child task engagement, controlling for the other parenting variables. Task engagement partially mediated the relation between support for autonomy and reading achievement. This research points to the importance of child engagement as a potential mechanism for academic success, and to the ability of parents to foster engagement and achievement.
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