Psychological Science 2018, (2) 330-336 DOI:     ISSN: 0412-1961 CN: 21-1139/TG

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parental educational level
academic achievement
values of specific subjects
utility of education
parent-adolescent communication
BI Xin-Wen
WEI Xing
YU Mei-Ping
CHEN Liang
Article by Bi,X.W
Article by Wei,x
Article by Yu,M.P
Article by Chen,l
Article by Zhang,W.X

The Relationship of Parental Educational Level and Adolescents’ Academic Adjustment: The Mediating Effects of Parenting and Parent-Adolescent Communication


Academic adjustment is a harmonious status which is achieved by learners experiencing learning environment and adjusting themselves constantly. In the cultural context of China, there is a special meaning of achieving academic success. Children usually try their best to perform well in studies to bring honor to their family. Achieving academic adjustment has received much attention from researchers. Previous researches indicated that parental educational level was a crucial factor of predicting adolescents’ academic adjustment. Paying attention to the mechanism through which parental educational level has an effect on adolescents’ academic adjustment is helpful for answering the question of how they connecting with each other. According to the Family Investment Model, as a kind of human capital, parental educational level would not transmit from parents to children automatically. It would be transmitted by parent-adolescent interactions. Parenting and parent-adolescent communication were two vital forms of parent-adolescent interactions. Therefore, they may be two crucial mediating factors. The present study was to explore the relationships between parental educational level and adolescents’ academic adjustment and the mediating effects of parenting and parent-adolescent communication. The present study also explored whether there were gender differences, location differences or grade differences in the direct effect model and mediating model. In the current study, 716 high-school adolescents from grade 10 and grade 12 in Shandong province were investigated. As academic adjustment is conceived as comprising characteristics, we use latent variable that incorporate the behavioral and motivational aspects. Academic achievement was used to represent the behavioral aspect. Utility of education and utility value of mathematics and Chinese were used to represent the motivational aspect. The participants finished a self-reported questionnaire on parental educational level, utility values of mathematics and Chinese, utility of education, academic achievement, parenting styles and parent-adolescent communication. All of the measures showed good reliability. The present study conducted correlation analyses, structural equation modeling and multiple-group analyses by using SPSS 16.0 and Mplus 7.0. The main findings of the present study were as follows: (1) Significant correlations existed between parental educational level, parent-adolescent communication, the acceptance/involvement dimension and strictness/supervision dimension of parenting, and three dimensions of academic adjustment. (2) Latent structure equation modeling revealed significant prediction of parental educational level on adolescents’ academic adjustment. Parent-adolescent communication and the acceptance/involvement dimension and strictness/supervision dimension of parenting mediated the associations between parental educational level and adolescents’ academic adjustment. (3) No gender, location or grade differences were found in the mediating model. By elaborating the mediating effects of acceptance/involvement and strictness/supervision dimension of parenting and parent-adolescent communication, the present study enriches the literature of the relation between parental educational level and adolescents’ academic adjustment. In addition, the current study provides additional support for the Family Investment Model.

Keywords parental educational level   academic achievement   values of specific subjects   utility of education   parenting   parent-adolescent communication  
Received 2017-03-20 Revised 2017-12-26 Online: 2018-03-20 
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