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Mother’s Use of Control Versus Autonomy on Children, Term Paper Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1660

Term Paper

Introduction

Research by Katz, Kaplan, & Buzukashvily (2011) pointed out that the quality of relationships between mothers and children largely affects their developments emotionally, socially, and academically. Despite the findings of the previous studies which have significantly demonstrated the importance of promoting children’s autonomy, the available researches have failed to reveal the manner in which parental respects for autonomy can affect the parent child relationship.

Gagné (2003) in his research revealed that the mothers that support their children’s autonomy needs bestows positive impacts in their developments. When mothers strongly control the small children’s performance, the children tend to be less likely to engage with them. Respect for autonomy has equally been depicted to bear great significance not only in enhancing positive child growth, but also in improving the parent –children relationship. The mother’s support for children’s autonomy is observed to have a great positive influence on the child’s performance in school (Clark & Ladd, 2000).

The debate on whether mothers autonomy support or control influences their performance in school has been a great bone of contention. Most parents lack the better approaches to improve their children’s performance in school. This results of this study will help parents to know the best approaches to use in controlling their children’s performance in schools.

In order to provide in depth analysis of the topic, this paper will attempt to answer the following research questions:

  • How does mother’s autonomy support affect children’s performance in school?
  • How does mother’s control of children affect their performance in school?
  • Which approach acts as the best strategy for improving a child’s performance in school?

The above research questions will guide this research and will help to prove the hypothesis of the study. The research hypothesis is that mothers use control will moderate children’s feeling of autonomy and competence; thereby have a negative effect on school performance. Mothers’ use of autonomy support will enhance the feeling of competence and get higher school achievement.

Initial studies on the topic

Dornbusch et al. (1987) in their research on the relationship of parenting style on adolescent school performance, the authoritarian and the permissive parenting styles were seen to have significant impacts on the children’s grades in school. Through the use of San fransico Bay area school as a sample, the study findings indicated that authoritative parenting had strong relationship with good grades, while authoritarian and permissive parent had negative impacts on the grades. The research shows that parenting styles have impacts on the performance, relative to age, ethnicity, parental education, and family structure category. According to the research findings, the families that engaged pure authoritative styles depicted the highest mean grades in school, whereas, the families that combined the authoritarian  style with other parenting styes had the lowest grades.

In yet another study by Florrie Fei-Yin Ng, Gwen, and Pomerantz (2004),  while investigating the effects of parental control and the autonomy support on school grades, the study findings indicated significant impact on the child’s performance.  The research included two studies that were aimed at observing parent impact on the child’s performance. The first study involved the mother’s involvement with the children within the context of a challenging task. As they interacted, the mother’s control resulted into a diminished engagement of the children in the task. Nonetheless, the mother’s autonomy support brought about enhanced performance for the children that exhibited low performance. In the second study, the mother’s response to the children’s failure were placed under assessment using a daily checklist. The grades of the children were obtained  and analysed after 6 months. The mother’s control responses exhibited decreased performances while their autonomy supportive responses revealed increased performance over time for lower achievers as compared to the high achievers.

Wong (2008) also performed a study to examine the effects of perceived parental involvement and autonomy support in regards to the academic performance and substance abuse among adolescents. Self regulation variables were used in mediating the effects of the perceived parental involvement and the autonomy support regarding the children’s academic performance as well as the classroom disruptive behaviour among both the low and high risk students. Among the high risk students alone, the classroom disruptive behaviour had significant relationship with the greater substance use. Higher levels of perceived parental involvements and autonomy on the other hand depicted great outcome for the students.

Grolnick and Ryian (1989) equally conducted a study to assess the effects of three parenting styles, namely autonomy support, provision of structure, and involvement in the child’s performance between the grades 3 and 6. The study revealed that the three parental dimensions proved to be reliable, independent, and equally correlated with the other parental measures. Most specifically, the study showed that parental autonomy support had a positive correlation to the children’s self report. The study related the martenal involvement to teacher rated competence, achievement, and various aspects of behavioural adjustment. The study, therefore, concluded that maternal autonomy brought about great improvement in the children’s performance and other behavioural adjustments.

Wendy et al (2000) equally conducted a similar research regarding the effects of mother’s autonomy support against control on children’s homework tasks. The study included sixty mothers and their children and were given maps and poem tasks and the mothers were placed in either high pressure and low pressure conditions. The children were later on left to work on similar tests by themselves.  In the end, the children that their mothers interracted in a much more controlling manner produced less creative poems when were left to write alone, while those that their mothers exhibited little control produced high quality poems and map analysis in their results.

A number of educators affirm to the fact that parents play a significant role in the motivation and the level of success in the schoolwork of their children. The autonomous involvement of parents in supporting the child’s school performance has been observed to have a psychological impact on their performance. Gillet, Vallerand, & Lafrenière (2012) point out that mothers’ autonomous involvement brought about significant improvement in the school performance of their children. The martenal autonomous involvement brought about cognitive competence, personal involvement, and self worth among the children. The parents that exhibit controlled involvement in their child’s school performance seem to create psychological tension, hence reducing the performance of the children in their related tasks. Such students lack the feeling of self worth and experience diminished self esteem.

Considering the outcomes of the reviewed literature, it is evident that maternal autonomy brings about significant motivation to the children. The study sought to answer research questions about the manner in which mother’s autonomy support affects the child’s school performance; the effects of mother’s control on the school performance; and further make a conclusion regarding the best approach for improving the performance of the children. The study has illustrated that the mother’s autonomy support has a positive effect on the school performance of the children. Relatively, the study has made it evident that the mother’s control of the child’s school performance has a negative impact. Whipple, Bernier, & Mageau (2011) argues that mother’s autonomy support brings about certain levels of motivation, and enhances their feeling of competence to the children, hence leading to the improved performance. On the other hand Clark & Ladd (2000) observe that pressure from the mothers can also demotivate and moderate the children’s autonomy feeling, and lower their self worth hence bringing about the poor performance.

The research hypothesis stated that the mothers use control will moderate children’s feeling of autonomy and competence; thereby having a negative effect on school performance. Mothers’ use of autonomy support also enhances the feeling of competence and get higher school achievement. The study has proven the stated hypothesis in affirmative. Mother’s autonomy brings about motivation, hence leading to improved performance in the schoolwork of the children (Gillet, Vallerand, & Lafrenière, 2012). The current research findings are not yet sufficient in comprehensively answering the research question. This area of study requires more detailed research and analysis to help in making comprehensive findings.

References

Clark, K. E., & Ladd, G. W. (2000). Connectedness and autonomy support in parent–child relationships: Links to children’s socioemotional orientation and peer relationships. Developmental psychology, 36(4), 485.

Dornbusch, S. M., Ritter, P. L., Leiderman, P. H., Roberts, D. F., & Fraleigh, M. J. (1987). The relation of parenting style to adolescent school performance. Child development, 1244-1257.

Fei‐Yin Ng, F., Kenney‐Benson, G. A., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2004). Children’s achievement moderates the effects of mothers’ use of control and autonomy support. Child Development, 75(3), 764-780.

Gagné, M. (2003). The role of autonomy support and autonomy orientation in prosocial behavior engagement. Motivation and emotion, 27(3), 199-223.

Gillet, N., Vallerand, R. J., & Lafrenière, M. A. K. (2012). Intrinsic and extrinsic school motivation as a function of age: The mediating role of autonomy support. Social Psychology of Education, 15(1), 77-95.

Grolnick, W. S., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Parent styles associated with children’s self-regulation and competence in school. Journal of educational psychology, 81(2), 143.

Grolnick, W. S., Gurland, S. T., DeCourcey, W., & Jacob, K. (2002). Antecedents and consequences of mothers’ autonomy support: an experimental investigation. Developmental Psychology, 38(1), 143.

Guay, F., Boggiano, A. K., & Vallerand, R. J. (2001). Autonomy support, intrinsic motivation, and perceived competence: Conceptual and empirical linkages. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(6), 643-650.

Katz, I., Kaplan, A., & Buzukashvily, T. (2011). The role of parents’ motivation in students’ autonomous motivation for doing homework. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(4), 376-386.

Whipple, N., Bernier, A., & Mageau, G. A. (2011). A dimensional approach to maternal attachment state of mind: Relations to maternal sensitivity and maternal autonomy support. Developmental Psychology, 47(2), 396.

Wong, M. M. (2008). Perceptions of parental involvement and autonomy support: Their relations with self-regulation, academic performance, substance use and resilience among adolescents. North American Journal of Psychology, 10(3), 497-518.

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