Racial and social class differences in how parents respond to inadequate achievement: Consequences for children's future achievement


Journal Article

Objective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusion: 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. © 2013 by the Southwestern Social Science Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Robinson, K; Harris, AL

Published Date

  • December 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 94 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1346 - 1371

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1540-6237

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0038-4941

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/ssqu.12007

Citation Source

  • Scopus