We are greatly indebted to Chandra Muller for helpful comments. This research is supported in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Child Development (Grant 5 R24 HD042849) awarded to the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin; by the National Science Foundation (Grant DUE-0757018) STEM in the New Millennium: Preparation, Pathways and Diversity awarded to Chandra Muller and Catherine Riegle-Crumb; by NICHD Grant #R01 HD33437 to Jacquelynne S. Eccles and Arnold J. Sameroff; by the Spencer Foundation Grant MG #200000275 to Tabbye Chavous and Jacquelynne S. Eccles; and by the MacArthur Network on Successful Adolescent Development in High Risk Settings (Chair: R. Jessor).
Racial and Social Class Differences in How Parents Respond to Inadequate Achievement: Consequences for Children's Future Achievement†
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2013
© 2013 by the Southwestern Social Science Association
Social Science Quarterly
Special Issue: Race and Ethnicity in the United States
Volume 94, Issue 5, pages 1346–1371, December 2013
How to Cite
Robinson, K. and Harris, A. L. (2013), Racial and Social Class Differences in How Parents Respond to Inadequate Achievement: Consequences for Children's Future Achievement. Social Science Quarterly, 94: 1346–1371. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12007
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2013
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Health and Child Development. Grant Number: 5 R24 HD042849
- National Science Foundation. Grant Number: DUE-0757018
- NICHD. Grant Number: R01 HD33437
- Spencer Foundation. Grant Number: MG #200000275
- MacArthur Network
Despite numerous studies on parental involvement in children's academic schooling, there is a dearth of knowledge on how parents respond specifically to inadequate academic performance. This study examines whether (1) racial differences exist in parenting philosophy for addressing inadequate achievement, (2) social class has implications for parenting philosophy, and (3) parents’ philosophies are consequential for children's academic achievement.
Using data from the Child Development Supplement (N = 1,041) to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we sort parents into two categories—those whose parenting repertoires for addressing poor achievement include punitive responses and those whose repertoires do not. We then determine whether racial differences exist between these categories and how various responses within the aforementioned categories are related to students’ academic achievement.
The findings show that white and black parents have markedly different philosophies on how to respond to inadequate performance, and these differences appear to impact children's achievement in dramatically different ways.
Educators and policymakers should pay particular attention to how parents respond to inadequate achievement as imploring parents of inadequately performing students to be more involved without providing them with some guidance might exacerbate the problem.