Parents' Roles in Guiding Children's Educational, Religious, and Other Trajectories
Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology
Although socialization efforts by parents have long been studied, the specific influence techniques parents adopt in promoting positive developmental trajectories have gone largely neglected by researchers. To investigate parental influence in supporting children's development in different domains we sampled 15 developmental trajectories, ranging from education and religion to cooking and the environment. Two methods of parental influence were targeted: guidance and pressure. Mothers' and
... s' reported behaviors associated with promotion of two trajectories--educational and religious--were also assessed. We predicted that parental guidance in those two domains would have a greater association with their children's values than parental pressure. Three hundred undergraduates filled out an on-line survey. Domain-specific influence was found: parents reportedly provided most guidance in the educational and family trajectories and the least in the artistic and environmental trajectories. Mothers were reported to provide more guidance than fathers but there was no main effect for sex of student. Guidance and pressure were correlated with the frequency of particular parenting practices. In regression analyses, parental guidance, pressure, and practices were used as predictors of youth values. None of these variables predicted students' educational values. However, maternal guidance was a significant predictor of youth valuing religion. Implications are discussed.