Date of Thesis

2011

Thesis Type

Masters Thesis

First Advisor

Candice Stefanou

Abstract

Throughout the years, the role that parents play with regard to a child’s academic achievement has been the source of considerable research. The type of parenting style employed by parents, whether it is authoritarian, authoritative, or permissive, has and continues to be a major theme in these studies. One area of particular interest that has been overlooked in these studies, however, is the influence that parents may have on a student’s learning autonomy. Learning autonomy is the idea that a student has internal motivation to learn or achieve. The purpose of this study was to investigate therelationship among the three styles of parenting, learning autonomy, perceived parental autonomy support, and scholastic achievement in undergraduate college students. Sixty-one participants were recruited at a small liberal arts college in the northeastern United States to complete questionnaires, which measured perceived parental authority of the participants’ parents, perceived parental autonomy support, and students’ own learning autonomy. The participants were also asked to list their grade point average. The results revealed positive and negative correlations between many of the variables in the study;however, simple regression analyses did not yield any statistically significant relationships between parental authority, learning autonomy, perceived autonomy support, and scholastic achievement.

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