• Journal Article

Mothers' and fathers' support for child autonomy and early school achievement

Citation

NICHHD Early Child Care Research Network, Houts, R., Knoke, B., & Morgan-Lopez, A. (2008). Mothers' and fathers' support for child autonomy and early school achievement. Developmental Psychology, 44(4), 895-907. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.44.4.895

Abstract

Data were analyzed from 641 children and their families in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development to test the hypotheses that in the early school years, mothers' and fathers' sensitive support for autonomy in observed parent-child interactions would each make unique predictions to children's reading and math achievement at Grade 3 (controlling for demographic variables), children's reading and math abilities at 54 months, and children's level of effortful control at 54 months and that these associations would be mediated by the level of and changes over time in children's observed self-reliance in the classroom from Grades 1 through 3. The authors found that mothers' and fathers' support for autonomy were significantly and uniquely associated with children's Grade 3 reading and math achievement with the above controls, but only for boys. For boys, the effect of mothers' support for child autonomy was mediated by higher self-reliance at Grade 1 and of fathers' support for child autonomy by greater increases in self-reliance from Grades 1 through 3. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)