Low achievers' parent-child relations and liking of school

Year: 2005

Author: Yeung, Alexander Seeshing, Hon, Rachel Yuk Hung

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Educators and researchers have suggested that positive relations with their parents would have significant impacts on children's attitudes and behaviours. The present study has two purposes: (a) to examine whether parent-child relations would influence low achievers' liking of school, and (b) to investigate whether low achievers' parent-child relations and liking of school could be improved through a focused intervention emphasizing interpersonal skills. Using a confirmatory factor analysis approach, the path from prior self-concept of parent relationship to subsequent self-concept of academic affect were examined using a sample of students who failed in the school system of Hong Kong but were provided with further education opportunities through an innovative program known as Project Yi Jin initiated by the Special Administrative Region government of Hong Kong (N = 2,779). Controlled for the effect of prior academic affect, prior parent-child relations were found to have a significant, though small, association with subsequent academic affect. The results supported the positive influence of parent-child relations on children's liking of school. Analysis of variance of pretest and posttest scores showed that as a result of a program emphasizing the development of interpersonal skills, the students improved in both parent-child relations and liking of school. The findings have important implications for a holistic approach to children's education by incorporating parent education as an important component of the education system.