Child Gender, Parental Expectations, and Academic Achievement: Does Parental Involvement Matter?

Open Access
Hammer, Lauren Jennifer
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Duane Francis Alwin, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stacy Silver, Honors Advisor
  • child gender
  • parental involvement
  • parental expectations
  • academic achievement
Although the gender gap in educational achievement has been on the decline, gender differences in ability perceptions and career choice still exist. The present study builds on previous research regarding the interplay of child gender, parental expectations, parental involvements, and academic achievement to focus on the role parents may play in this gender socialization process. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten cohort of 1998-1999, was used to conduct a series of multivariate Ordinary Least Squares regression analyses. The results indicated higher reading and math achievement among girls as well as higher parental academic expectations for girls. Additionally, mothers of girls tended to be more involved in the school setting, compared to mothers of boys. Interestingly, I found a negative association between frequency of parental homework help and academic achievement, which likely reflects the fact that parents respond to lower academic achievement with increased homework help. This study further proposes possible explanations for these findings as well as implications for future research.