Thesis

Student differences in academic achievement: a closer look at parental rule setting and family structure

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship the family has with a child’s academic achievement. Inequality extant in school provides obstacles that cannot be explained only by economic or class issues and requires a focus on inequality that persists through cultural and parenting practices. Differences that arise in academic achievement call into question the types of skills, values, and knowledge that are validated in school. This exposes the structural disadvantage many children experience when going to school. I find that family type and parental involvement via rule structuring has significant effects on academic achievement. Although patterns do not persist in all family types, communication and rule setting is significant to a child’s academic success. Research shows that two parent families with extensive communication and rule setting provide children with a stable platform for success. I argue that the expectations and involvement parents provide have significant mediating factors on a child’s academic success. 
 Recommendations include a greater awareness made to parents of their importance and the need for support of school in the home, as well as, the need to place a greater value on working-class and minority culture.

Thesis (M.A., Sociology)-- California State University, Sacramento, 2013.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship the family has with a child’s academic achievement. Inequality extant in school provides obstacles that cannot be explained only by economic or class issues and requires a focus on inequality that persists through cultural and parenting practices. Differences that arise in academic achievement call into question the types of skills, values, and knowledge that are validated in school. This exposes the structural disadvantage many children experience when going to school. I find that family type and parental involvement via rule structuring has significant effects on academic achievement. Although patterns do not persist in all family types, communication and rule setting is significant to a child’s academic success. Research shows that two parent families with extensive communication and rule setting provide children with a stable platform for success. I argue that the expectations and involvement parents provide have significant mediating factors on a child’s academic success. Recommendations include a greater awareness made to parents of their importance and the need for support of school in the home, as well as, the need to place a greater value on working-class and minority culture.

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