Paternal Behaviors and Adolescents' Academic Motivation at Low, Moderate, and High Levels of Students' Achievement in Mainland China

  • Cho, Won Jee (Seoul National University) ;
  • Bush, Kevin R. (Miami University) ;
  • Xia, Yan (University of Nebraska) ;
  • Wilson, Stephan M. (Oklahoma State University) ;
  • Li, Wenzhen (University of Nevada) ;
  • Peterson, Gary W. (Miami University)
  • Received : 2014.08.06
  • Accepted : 2014.08.20
  • Published : 2014.08.30


The purpose of this study was to examine group differences in paternal behaviors (i.e., paternal connection, paternal punitiveness, and paternal knowledge) within and across three academic achievement levels-low, moderate, and high, and to explore the effects of paternal behaviors on the academic motivation of Chinese adolescents within these three achievement groups. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) indicated that adolescents with low achievement perceived their fathers as more punitive than teens with moderate and high academic achievement. Regression analyses also revealed that paternal punitiveness (negative) and paternal knowledge (positive) were significant predictors of academic motivation for teens with low levels of academic achievement; while paternal punitiveness was a significant negative predictor of academic motivation among adolescents with moderate achievement. In contrast, for adolescents with high achievement, paternal connection was a positive significant predictor of academic motivation. The present findings provide some evidence that the impact of parental behaviors on teen's motivation varies across adolescent academic achievement levels, which may prove useful for professionals working with fathers to help target the most effective parenting behaviors to foster academic motivation.


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