LRDC alum Michael Ranney, Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, was interviewed on climate change deniers by his local public radio affiliate and aired on Boston’s WGBH recently. Listen here.
LRDC alum Roberta Golinkoff, Professor, Education, University of Delaware, and Melissa Libertus, LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, Psychology, were published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on-line Philly.com “Commentary: Good Math Skills Begin at Home.” Article here.
Lesgold, A., & Nahemow, M. (2001). Tools to assist learning by doing: Achieving and assessing efficient technology for learning. In D. Klahr & S. Carver (Eds.), Cognition and instruction: Twenty-five years of progress. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Harsh Parenting Predicts Low Educational Attainment
Children exposed to harsh parenting are at greater risk of having poor school outcomes. A new longitudinal study sought to determine why. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh who conducted the study suggest that both direct and indirect effects of parenting play a role in shaping children’s behavior, as well as their relationships with peers. The study appears in the journal Child Development and is co-authored by Ming-Te Wang, LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, Education and Psychology, and Rochelle F. Hentges, a postdoctoral fellow in the psychology department at the Pitt.
“We believe our study is the first to use children’s life histories as a framework to examine how parenting affects children’s educational outcomes via relationships with peers, sexual behavior, and delinquency,” notes Hentges. “In our study, harsh parenting was related to lower educational attainment through a set of complex cascading processes that emphasized present-oriented behaviors at the cost of future-oriented educational goals.” Harsh parenting was defined as yelling, hitting, and engaging in coercive behaviors like verbal or physical threats as a means of punishment.
The researchers looked at youth who were part of the Maryland Adolescent Development in Context Study, which examined the influences of social contexts on adolescents’ academic and psychosocial development. This ongoing longitudinal study in a large county near Washington, D.C., included 1,482 students, who were followed over nine years, beginning in seventh grade and ending three years after students’ expected high school graduation. By the end of the study, 1,060 students remained. The participants reflected a broad range of racial, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds.
Participants reported on their parents’ use of physical and verbal aggression, as well as their own interactions with peers, delinquency, and sexual behavior. Markers of overreliance on peers included deciding to spend time with friends instead of doing homework and feeling like it’s okay to break rules to keep friends. When participants were 21, they reported on their highest level of educational attainment.
Researchers found that students who were parented harshly in seventh grade were more likely in ninth grade to say their peer group was more important than other responsibilities, including following parents’ rules. This in turn led them to engage in more risky behaviors in eleventh grade, including more frequent early sexual behavior in females and greater delinquency (e.g., hitting, stealing) in males. These behaviors, in turn, led to low educational achievement (as assessed by years of school completed) three years after high school, meaning that youth who were parented harshly were more likely to drop out of high school or college. Parenting influenced educational outcomes
“Youth whose needs aren’t met by their primary attachment figures may seek validation from peers,” explains Hentges. “This may include turning to peers in unhealthy ways, which may lead to increased aggression and delinquency, as well as early sexual behavior at the expense of long-term goals such as education.”
The study’s findings have implications for prevention and intervention programs aimed at increasing students’ engagement in school and boosting graduation rates. “Since children who are exposed to harsh and aggressive parenting are susceptible to lower educational attainment, they could be targeted for intervention,” Wang. Programs dealing with unhealthy peer relationships, delinquency, and sexual behaviors may also play a role in increasing educational attainment, the authors note. And teaching methods that focus on present-oriented goals and strategies (e.g., hands-on experimental learning, group activities) may promote learning and educational goals for individuals, especially those who are parented harshly.
This article is summarized from a press release prepared by Hannah Klein, the Society for Research in Child Development.
Hentges, R.F., & Wangl, M-T. (2017). Gender Differences in the Developmental Cascade from Harsh Parenting to Educational Attainment: An Evolutionary Perspective, Child Development. Article here.
LRDC Research Scientist, Benjamin Rottman, Psychology, has been named a 2016 APS Rising Star. The APS Rising Star designation is presented to outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers post-PhD. See the roster of 2016 rising stars here.
Ming-Te Wang, LRDC Research Scientist and Associate Professor, Education, has been awarded the 2017 Richard E. Snow Award for Early Career Contributions in Educational Psychology by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Learning Sciences and Policy graduate student and LRDC student Anita Schuchardt has been awarded the 2017 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award by the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST).
In the News: LRDC Faculty
Brian Galla, LRDC Research Scientist and Assistant Professor, Education, was interviewed for the Vox article “The Myth of Self-Control.” Article here.
Lindsay C. Page, LRDC Research Scientist and Assistant Professor, Research Methodology, and Jennifer Iriti, LRDC Research Associate and Director, Evaluation for Learning Group, were featured in the Pitt Chronicle article “Research on Pittsburgh Promise Shows ‘Match’ Matters”. Article here. Page wrote an wrote an article for Harvard Business Review, “ (here) and was cited New York Times here.
Page was also included in the 2017 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings published by Education Week, and was number give in the junior faculty top ten: See here. She has also been named to the Board of Directors for the Society of Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE).
LRDC Center Associate and Professor of Organizations and Management in Katz Business School, Carrie Leana, authored the Stanford Social Innovation Review article "The Missing Link in School Reform." Article here.
Votruba-Drzal, E., Dearing, E. (2017). Handbook of Early Childhood Development Programs, Practices, and Policies. Wiley-Blackwell.
Cho, B-Y., Afflerbach, P. (2017). An Evolving Perspective of Constructively Responsive Reading Comprehension Strategies in Multilayered Digital Text Environments. In S. Israel (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Reading Comprehension, Second Edition (pp. 109-134). New York, NY: Guilford Publications. Chapter here.
Chandrasekaran, M. K., Epp, C. D., Kan, M-Y., Litman, D. (2017). Using Discourse Signals for Robust Instructor Intervention Prediction. Proceedings of the 31st AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Article here.
Correnti, R., Thomas, A., Baeksan, Y., Russell, J., Booker, L., Schwartz, N., & Stein, M. K. (2017). Prospective Matching Methods in Education Research: Recruiting an Active Comparison Sample for Causal Inference, Proceedings of the SREE 2017 Conference. Article here.
Castleman, B. L., & Page, L. C. (2017). Parental influences on postsecondary decision making: Evidence from a text messaging experiment. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. Article here.
Akiva, T., Kehoe, S., Schunn, C. D. (2017). Are we ready for citywide learning? Examining the nature of within- and between-program pathways in a community-wide learning initiative. Journal of Community Psychology. Article here.