Homework in the Home: How Student, Family, and Parenting-Style Differences Relate to the Homework Process
Parents (n = 709) were surveyed about involvement in their child's homework. A factor analysis revealed three dimensions of homework involvement similar to those found in more general studies of parenting style. These dimensions are autonomy support, direct involvement, and elimination of distractions. A fourth dimension, parental interference, differentiated itself from autonomy support for students in higher grades. Two-thirds of parents reported some negative or inappropriate form of involvement. Parenting style for homework was then related to student and family characteristics and student schooling outcomes. Results indicated parents with students in higher grade levels reported giving students more homework autonomy and less involvement of all other types. Parents in poorer families reported less support for autonomy and more interference. Parents reported less elimination of distractions when an adult was not at home after school and, for elementary school students, when there were more than one child living in the home. Elementary school parents of males reported more direct involvement in homework, while high school parents of females reported more direct involvement. More parental support for autonomy was associated with higher standardized test scores, higher class grades, and more homework completed. More positive parent involvement was associated with lower test scores and lower class grades, especially for elementary school students. Student attitudes toward homework were unrelated to parenting style for homework. Stage-environment fit theory and conceptions of families as varying in resources to support children are used to explain the findings and draw implications for parent behavior and educational practice. © 2000 Academic Press.
Cooper, H; Lindsay, JJ; Nye, B
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