Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Cheryl L. Somers


Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological model was used as the theoretical model for this study of parental achievement factors that influence adolescent academic achievement. Many predictors are related to a child's potential for academic achievement. Of the most proximal are parental and family factors, which were the focus in this study. The proximal parental and family factors for this study were as follows: family structure, maternal and paternal parenting styles and parental involvement, parents' school and community involvement, parental attitude toward achievement, and free and reduced lunch status. Achievement as determined by the student's actual grade point average was the dependent variable. In the current study, data was collected from 146 matched parent-adolescent pairs in a cross-sectional sample of an at-risk, multi-ethnic Detroit Metropolitan high school. Paulson, Marchant's and Rothlisberg's 1994 parenting, teaching, and school atmosphere study were used to analyze parent and adolescent perceptions of parenting styles, parental and adolescent attitude toward achievement, and parental school involvement. Amount of congruence between parent and adolescent was examined between ninth and twelfth grade. It was hypothesized that parental school and community involvement, family structure, parenting styles, and parent and student attitudes toward achievement will have the strongest correlations with achievement outcomes. Statistical significant results were found for parental perspective of achievement variables and adolescent perspective of achievement variables. This significance was obtained using bi-variate correlation analysis, regression analysis, ANOVA, and ANCOVA. Based on the findings of this study, parental and adolescent perspective of parental achievement variables differed between age groups, specifically for 9th and 12th grades. This study demonstrated parental achievement variables, such as parental demandingness and parental attitude toward achievement, do predict grade point average for different age and ethnic groups. Differences in agreement between adolescent and parent perception were found in this study. Additional research is needed to analyze the relations between socio-economic status, parental achievement variables, and achievement within specific ethnic groups not formerly studied.