Many of the recent studies have identified education as a major contributing factor to develop success for the future. The literature on parental involvement, socio economic status, achievement motivation, and self- esteem have all been researched indicators to determine a child overall academic success for the future (Green, Walker, Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 2007; Davis-Kean, 2005; Halle, Kurts-Costes, & Mahoney, 1997). All contributing factors mentioned have been studied throughout various time frames, nonetheless, parental educational levels have been undermined in research as a mechanism to inquire children overall self esteem and motivation for academic achievement.
Education being on the forefront discussion of today's society in the United States, it is important to establish that many factors may attribute to why certain students progress not higher education and others do not. Additionally, since factors such as motivation, self- esteem, and achievement have all been previously tested individually, the purpose of this study will question if parental education success levels will influence a child's self- esteem, motivation and academic achievement. Two hypotheses proposed indicate that student with parents that possess higher education levels will have higher levels of academic achievement and motivation in comparison to students with parents that only attended high school or less, and secondly students with parents that possess higher level of education will have lower self esteem in comparison to students with parent that possess high school education or less.
Parental involvement has been linked to the importance of how a child progresses both in socially and academically settings. Parents, who actively engage in children's education and identify early on educational expectations for their children, tend to increase the child's overall academic achievement. While based upon research, a relationship between parental involvement and student achievement is evident; no significant factors had been studied to determine how parental involvement affects a child's self esteem or motivation in school (Hong & Ho, 2005).
In a research article by Hong and Ho (2005), dimensions of parental involvement practices were researched to determine if effects were evident in the student's academic achievement and if differences were evident across ethnicities. The focus of the study was to measure parental involvement, expectation, student self concept and achievement across a longitudinal design. Results supported that ethnic differences were found across parental involvement nonetheless effects on achievement varied. Across White and Asian Americans, the effects on student achievement were long lasting in comparison to Hispanics and African American serving immediate student achievement effects.
Furthermore, results specified that parental involvement in dimensions of communication and educational aspirations enhanced the student's overall academic achievement elaborating that positive and negative effects were evident across the two dimensions. Parental communication has significant positive effect in enhancing students' educational aspirations; nonetheless, parental supervision has significant negative effects. These results were evident across the African American sample; however consideration should be applied across all 4 ethnic groups researched. Parental educational aspiration was a strong finding in enhancing a student's educational aspirations. All of these results combined reinforce that parental involvement behaviors in the form of communication and educational expectations are important and effective factors to improve academic achievement.
Despite Hong and Ho research findings supporting parental involvement as an indicator for increasing student achievement, other factors such as parental income and educational level have also been researched to determine children's academic achievement. Thus, according to Davis-Kean (2005), two hypotheses were proposed to guide the study. First hypothesis suggested that parental beliefs, educational expectations and home behavior in association with parental education levels and income are a strong predictor in the influence of a child's achievement. Second hypothesis suggested that these relations would be similar across racial groups. The focus of the research was to test parental behaviors, characteristic, and children achievement across several variables such as income, education, support, and involvement in studies. Measures were obtained by utilizing children and parental surveys, scales and tests. This study strongly considered parental responses as a factor to determine hypotheses, in comparison to Hong, & Ho (2005) study that only questioned the student's responses. Sample selected of 868 children across gender and races assisted the procedures to obtain significant data. Results from a structured equation model, supported the hypothesis that parental education levels and income influenced literacy-related material, as well as home behaviors and the relationship between a parent-child positively in academic achievement. Thus far, this support provides some guidance for this research's proposed first hypothesis. The literature has also added that the higher parental influence, education and income are evident, the higher expectations and home behaviors are established to promote academic achievement.
Moreover, Davis-Kean (2005) utilized a multiple group comparisons in the structured equation model as well to test the second hypothesis regarding no difference across racial groups. Results concluded that race differences in achievement were evident, and hypothesis was not supported. African American and European American groups differed in that parents' educational levels provided a stronger predictor of child's achievement for European American groups. African American groups were both influenced by parental educational levels and income in predicting child's educational achievement. Even though this study provided finding across race, gender differences were also noted. The findings indentified that European American boys and African American girls have tendencies to exhibit higher achievement rates that may be attributed to parental interaction in material or use of parental education as a tool for teaching in the home.
At this point, previous research conducted established a foundation in the importance that achievement and family variables have always been a forefront factor to investigate. Studies have attempted to examine both direct and indirect variables, and create an association between parents' expectations and children's' achievement A pattern is evident among support from other noted articles and supports stated in Hong & Ho 2005; Davis-Kean 2008; Magnuson 2007 findings, portraying some overlap on parental influence as factors to school achievement.
Wood, Kurtes-Costes, Rowley & Adeyanju (2010) research article on African American mother role in academic gender stereotypes as a method to shape academic achievement in their children, provide support to Davis-Kean (2005) finding across gender and the African American race, that the topic of parental influence is important in determine levels of academic achievement in students. To elaborate, the main purpose of the study was to present 3 hypotheses that varied in level of educational attainment, if academic gender stereotype is enforced and if stereotypes would be presented in a consistent manner regarding educational beliefs. They found that mothers held significantly lower expectations for their sons in comparison to daughters. Mother's educational levels and household income were also significant to expectations and perceptions of their children's achievement. Examining the findings further supports that education across gender and race differ and that achievement is a factor strongly influenced by variables of parent's own education, which in turn provides direction for the hypotheses presented for future research.
Among studies being reviewed considerations must be taken in regards to factors such as student's own higher level of education and self esteem. The literature presented by noted articles have only specified in the area of middle childhood to adolescence, and does not contribute any additional supports as to how self esteem and motivation is influenced by parental education only. The expectation presented among identified variables of race and gender have categories of females being presented with higher educational expectations in comparison to male, and Hispanics and African American still having lower enrollments levels for higher learning in comparison to White and Asian American groups. Jeynes (2003) suggested that parental involvement was a strong determinant in the domain of academic achievement; however results concluded differentiating values across the minority groups. African American and Latinos groups determine more favorable the influence of parental involvement in comparison to Asian American groups.
Furthermore, the majority of the studies emphasized the importance parents' present education on their children. Findings on any variable relating to parents predict that overall parental expectations are for children to attend and finish high school. Parents with higher level of education place more emphasize on children achievement and promoting higher levels of education as well. As achievement has been identified as a factor affected by involvement and perception parents place on their children academic levels (Woods et al., 2010; Davis-Kean, 2005), further research should be considered with self esteem and motivation in combination with achievement to test if these factors are also affected by parental involvement. Many limitations evident across previous research is that the achievement factor was always forefront in results without taking into account if parents own education produce effects on children' self esteem and motivation to progress beyond college.
In the influence of parental socio economic status and educational levels, Magnuson, (2007) and Halle, Kurtz-Costes, & Mahoney (1997) research elaborated on the effects these factors attribute to academic achievement. To begin with, Halle et al., (1997), focused on familial influence of low-income African American children. Results concluded that maternal education level was in turn related to parental perceptions which are attributed to children educational aspirations, similarly to Davis-Kean (2005) findings about African American groups. Another finding was that parental beliefs and expectations were more related to children achievement in comparison to parental behaviors and children achievement. Halle et al., (1997) elaborated that strong factors such as parental beliefs and perception of their child's ability promoted child to subsequently have positive academic achievement, however, this results slightly contradicts Davis-Kean (2005) finding about parental behavior. Parental behavior as explained by Davis-Kean elaborated that the more years of schooling a parents attained, the more home behaviors (reading material, homework, home teaching) would be structured in order to interact with the child and promote achievement. Conversely, both researches were done separately on basis on different incomes which may advise caution to findings being interpreted.
Regarding educational levels and achievement, Magnuson (2007) proposed that increase in maternal educational levels are larger for children born to young educational disadvantage levels in comparison to mother with higher education levels and that increase in education would improve the quality of the home environment. First hypothesis proposed was supported among testing of children reading and math material. Mothers that were categorized as young and educational disadvantaged who returned for additional years of education helped increase achievement in their children. Result linked that mother's increase in education stimulated an improvement in the quality of home environment for children. Additionally, Magnuson (2007) elaborated that conclusions about higher educated mother should be taken with caution, as justification may be tentative to further research. Mother with higher levels of education may be already providing structured home environments. Likewise, research findings further support that parental education, (maternal education level), plays an important role in children academic achievement.
As a final point, previous researches conducted on children academic levels and parental involvement over emphasize the importance of educational success. Most of the research noted, explains how parental influence is a major contributor to children education. However, some limitations presented are that testing has not been done beyond middle childhood, and on possible additional contributing factors such as self esteem and motivation. As Lippman, Guzman, Dombrowski-Keith, Kinukawa, Schwalb, & Tice (2008) from the National Center for Education Statistics, have reported that 65 percent of children between 6th and 12th grades had parents who expected them to attend and finish college. With this expectation continually prevalent, parental expectation effects should be researched in dimensions of how self esteem and motivation may be influence if parental demands are high or if parental education levels present a basis for child to reach or surpass parental educational attainment. Does a parent with a bachelor, masters or doctorate degree motivate or increase a student self esteem in reaching their educational level? Therefore, motivational factors are the next topic for discussion in regards to educational achievements.
According to Van Etten, Presley McInerney & Liem (2008), academic motivation may be conducive to the study of many internal or external factors that play a role in a student's education. As a first step in their qualitative study, the researchers' purpose was to determine the range of differing factors, and how these factors develop or decline motivation in student's academics. Factors such as grades, social support, and family backgrounds were strong variables in motivation. Students' reports varied across the positive and negative influences parental involvement or family members may place on motivating factors to college level academics. Motivation among differing parental socioeconomic status and backgrounds were reported, nonetheless the research presented limitation in establishing quantitative findings in regards to the influence these factor may have on a student's academic motivation. *Some limitations from Etten, et al., (2008) study that may be improved by present study is to establish more assessment tools (questionnaires, scales) than only collecting data from open-ended interviews. Present study may also be favored if additional consideration of parental involvement and educational level influence self esteem in students to report their academic motivation.
In general, Van Etten et al., (2008) provided reports from students about socioeconomic statutes imposing certain views of motivation in education. Reports suggested that low class background student may be directed into positive or negative factors of promoting achievement. Positive motivating factors for students may be to obtain a college degree, or on the contrary, negatively, be influenced by believing they have reached their full level of education. Additionally, upper class background student may feel less motivated as expectation is high relating to parent possibly providing linkage to education or employment possibilities.
At this level, substantial literature is available on the self determination theory that elaborates on different levels of motivation (Gagne and Deci, 2005). In Legault, Green-Demers, Pelletier (2006) research, studies were separated into sections, with one identifying the focus to how social support (friends, parents, and teachers) may contribute to a student academic motivational level. The aim of the study was to assess if interpersonal support was interrelated with four dimension of academic motivation. Other variables such as ability beliefs, effort beliefs, academic characteristics and values of task are presented as effects to motivation. Aside from the different noted variables of motivation, results concluded that a correlation existed between support and lack of academic motivation (amotivation). Clearly then results continue to support that parents play an important role in establishing a positive self concept in their child which promotes high motivation, and in turn increases academic achievement. Furthermore, results revealed parents as the strongest predictor in developing academic values, similarly to Halle et al., (1997); and Wood et al., (2010) research findings.
In continuance, Fan and William (2010) research on student self efficacy and intrinsic motivation, findings further supported that parental involvement not only influence academic achievement but motivational levels as well. Examining parental involvement across different dimensions provided logical responses that parental involvement with school in regards to negative factors overall promote a decrease in different academic motivation levels of the student (e.g. poor performance, behaviors, etc.) and vice versa for positive factors. Also, parental educational aspirations were viewed as strong predictors for students to pursue and enhance motivation in their own academic goals and educational aspirations, similarly discussed as in Hong and Ho (2005) article on parental factors. Consequently, the extensive literature provides support to self esteem and motivational factors proposed for future research.
Parental involvement, self esteem, motivation, educational levels, and additional demographic factors are continually explored across the focus of children education. Patterns identified reinforce the fact that education is still a major area of research that needs to be inquired. Many similarities are evident across previous research such as use of assessment tools, educational statistics, and parental factors. Also, previous research conducted has majorly focused on the developing stages from early to middle childhood, nevertheless, Faye and Sharp (2008) research tested adolescence and the emerging adulthood. This use of academic motivation across university students aids more findings across the educational research topic.
Specifically, Faye and Sharp (2008) research purpose were to examine how motivation, psychological needs and psychosocial development are all interrelated, as previous research had only tacked a few of these concepts individually. Findings provided a logical response that overall a student' feelings of competence are imposed by a strong identity formation which in turn promotes self esteem and motivation in academics. Additional findings, explained that social connections of relatedness and intimacy are important factors to identity formation, however do not provide significant findings in terms of academic motivation. Parents, friends or partners across the university students may be variables evident, yet not suggestive in the student's interpersonal need of academic motivation.
Implications of social support variables not providing significant effects are contrary to research findings of Van Etten et al., (2008) findings of student's reports that family members can enhance academic motivation and also in Legault et al., (2006) results supporting that parent and friends are influential especially strongly across relatedness factors. Differing results across similar variables, must be examined with caution as in Faye and Sharp (2008) research, mostly Caucasian female between the ages of 18 and 25 of middle to high upper class were studied in comparison to previous studies (Van Etten et al., 2008; Legault et al., 2006) use of varying races, ages and socioeconomic status. Moreover, Fan & Williams, (2010) research suggested that children that believed that their parents place emphasis and value on their education, tended to be more actively involved and confident in their academics. Furthermore, the findings implicated that one dimension of parental involvement (communication) is portrayed in shaping children motivation and in turn children transforming those parental values and educational aspiration into their own for future academic goals.
In support of motivational constructs influencing academic achievement, several findings have demonstrated that many characteristics were attributed to predicting educational outcomes. Reports of set values, expectations and self-worth across the academia domain were important predictors that achievement motivation is obtained to further enhance a student performance level (Faye and Sharp 2008; Legault et al., 2006; Van Etten et al., 2008). Following this further, Robbins et al. (2004) researched college outcomes by reviewing and analyzing 109 previously completed studies. They argued that academic goals, achievement motivation and academic related skills should be strong predictors across academic performance. They identified nine psychosocial and study skills factors important to predict academic outcomes. Results suggested that academic self-efficacy (confidence, self-worth) was the strongest predictor to academic performance, normally measured as a cumulative GPA. Consequently their examination also identified achievement motivation as the second strong predictor to cumulative GPA, and other constructs such as financial support, goals, academic skills and social support (parents, peers, and teachers) to also have some influence on GPA.
Consequently, the topic of education as indentified in previous research has been importantly addressed as predictors that determine college outcomes. Research reviewed has tackled how motivation influences achievement, and nonetheless, since more information may have been useful to address other underlying, limitations across previous research are needed to be further discussed. Initially findings to delineate motivation across education have been vague. Gender and socioeconomic class have differed across the noted
Rosenberg (1965) first indentified self esteem as a stable sense of personal worth, nonetheless further elaboration from Branden (1969) elaborated that self esteem was the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness. From the definition, self esteem in contents of academics may be explained as a student's expressed competence and confidence in their learned material. Clearly then, self esteem may be regarded as a factor that attributes achievement as similarly reported by Faye & Sharp (2008); and Fan & William (2010) findings.
In the concept of relating self esteem to academic achievement, Ross & Broh (2000) hypothesized that "academic achievement increases self-esteem, but self-esteem does not affect subsequent achievement once perceived control is adjusted". Additionally, they also hypothesized that parental relationship based on communication related to school would increase self esteem more than the sense of personal control. Results being generalized to the sample (8th to 12th grade levels), supported that self- esteem is increased by the impact of academic achievement, nonetheless, self- esteem does not boost academic achievement (grades, GPA). Review from Faye and Sharp (2008) literature, contrast in the findings are noted in regards to student levels of competence increasing self esteem and motivation for subsequent achievement. The contrast in findings may be limited to the focus on differing variable. Motivation and psychological needs were studied in Faye & Sharp's 2008 research in comparison to self -esteem and locus of control variables examined in Ross & Broh's research. Additionally, age differences need to also be considered as possible factors for contrary results.
Parental involvement being an important discussion to the current research, Ross and Broh (2000) also elaborated that parental support does increase students self- esteem over time, and possibly male children and African American groups have tendency to have higher self esteem in comparison to others. Specifically, an additional finding to Ross and Broh (2000) research provided support and guidance to this paper proposed hypothesis that parents with higher educational levels may negatively influence self esteem. Moreover, these finding were supported through varying effects. Higher parental education and income may affect student's self-esteem due to higher expectations in education, however, parental education also does place emphasize on increased academic achievement, which from Faye and Sharp's (2008) research, stated that increased achievement supports competence which in turn promotes motivation and self esteem.
Moving along, previous research noted has strongly focused on measuring outcomes of education from early to middle adolescences, and as higher education continues to be a major developing factor discussed in the US, other variables and measure need to be considered. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (2009) reports, post secondary education enrollment is increasing and will continue to increase throughout coming years. Obtaining a bachelor degree is still the student's major forefront runner of choice and strongly evident across female and Caucasian racial groups. Consequently, these facts offered some knowledge to review the literature provided by Michie, Glachan & Bray (2001) that was partly completed on factors influencing academic self-esteem of students in higher education.
Michie, Glachan & Bray (2001) examined research about reasons behind a student participation in higher education, while identifying underlying factors such as age and gender as effects of academic self-esteem, self concept or stress levels. For the basis of the self- esteem study, results concluded that significant associations between self-esteem, academic self concept and stress levels were evident in both positive and negative domains. In this case, academic self-concept had a positive association with self esteem, in comparison with academic self-doubt and stress having a negative association. Likewise, their finding exemplified that higher education is perceived positively with academic self-concept, when a student's motivation in education is for the sake of learning, in contrast to suffering from academic stress and self-doubt when motivation was more strongly placed for enhancing a career or obtaining employment. Hence, self esteem findings strengthened an association between this factor and achievement similarly as to other research findings.
Consequently, since higher education enrollment has increased (reports NCES, 2009) extensively in the past few years for possible reasons of student furthering their education or job perspectives, it would be important to compare how these outcome affect variable such as motivation and self esteem. If student's main motivation reason is to further their education for personal reasons of obtaining a better job in the future, therefore following implications made from Michie et al., (2001) research findings, is that self-esteem would be low due to student's experiencing self-doubt and academic stress. Importantly some of the contributing limitations identified within these two findings are that researches on the variability of the differing factors were not taken into account. Variables such as personal life issues, psychological needs or additional motivation factors may have been useful for further determining the interest in higher education as discussed in Michie et al., (2001) article.
Identifying an association between self-esteem and higher education, a research experiment aimed to discover if providing positive or negative feedback to student participant would value or devalue higher education outcomes. The experiment conducted by Tafani, Bellon, & Mollinier (2002) aimed to acknowledge this purpose. They provided a logistical mathematical test, that later would be provided to student with positive or negative feedback in regards to grade outcome for the test. Results interestingly supported that self-esteem is variable on a basis of feedback. Positive feedback was correlated with student's feeling an increase in being successful in higher education and vice-versa for negative feedback. Granted that self-esteem has been a factor measured over many research, assumptions can be noted in terms of its significant relation to the topic of achievement.
Despite Tafani et al., (2008) article explaining findings for self-esteem and its association to feedback, it is important to also consider again the influence of parental own self-esteem concept in education as a contributing factor to a student's own self-esteem and motivation towards their own educational outcomes. The awareness that parental involvement partly influence a student's motivation and academic achievement has been noted (Hong & Ho, 2005; Kurtes-Costes et al., 1997; Davis-Kean, 2005; Legault et al., 2006; Fan & William, 2010). Now, how often does parental involvement literature was mostly on basis of the dimension of communication or supervision, nonetheless, additional factors such as parenting style, education or practice may serve as collaborative measures to consider in a student's self esteem towards higher education.
Elements of parental education, practice and overall imposed parental motivation are attributed factors to a student's parameter in academic self esteem. Family tendencies of differing parenting styles tend to provide a foundation in a child's identify formation which in turn results to those child characteristics that can be applied to education. As reviewed from Davis-Kean (2005) and Magnuson (2007) literature regarding educational levels influence, Bouissou & Tap (1997) also suggested that parental educational levels are increased by evident educational practice which in turn promotes a child to self-appreciate and autonomy. Students emphasize on self -worth and responsibility are positive correlates that can be attached to education, as similarly reported in Michie et al., (2001) and Robbins et al., (2004) literature.
Given these points along parental, motivation and self-esteem variables across academic achievement, it is also important to address some literature on the groundwork of these factors also be influenced or associated across gender and racial groups. Varying results across predominately White/Caucasian groups (Faye and Sharp 2008;,; Davis-Kean, 2005), African American groups (Kurtes-Costes et al., 1997) and other minority groups (see Hong & Ho, 2005) have been discussed in overlap between the literature. Additionally some gender differences have also been slightly reviewed and would further serve to be discussed to attribute to the findings of the strength of the varying literature.
Gender and Race Factors
Self-esteem can be significantly different for females and males or even across different ethnicity groups. Much of the literatures examined have attributed many findings elaborating stereotypes across gender, racial groups and parental involvement. For example, Michie et al., (2001) results argued that males beliefs in their academic competences and acknowledgement from other peers were associated with confidences levels which in turn promotes increased self esteem (Faye and Sharp, 2008; Robbins et al., 2004) in comparison to females. Additionally, Michie et al., (2001) also suggested that academic stress levels were more increased for females than males, and following implications mentioned in research, self esteem levels would be decreased. Nonetheless, contrasting these supports, Wood et al., (2010) argued a parental perspective imposed differentiating among gender education expectations. To elaborate, the research suggested that relationships between mother and daughter created a stereotypical academic or education belief that females tended to be more successful than males. Majority of African American mother that participated in the study concluded that maternal expectation in the overall future attainment of education was favorable for females in promoting more academic competence.
Similarly to other research, Fulton and Turner (2008) also suggested that parental involvement in the realm of motivation, perception and parenting styles contributed to different educational outcomes among females and males perceptions of control. The study determined that parental practices projected a student's control which in turn enhanced academic achievement in higher education. Moreover, other results suggested that parental practices such as supervision has differing impact levels for females and males, favoring positive for females and negative for males. These results supported the discussion that parental factors influence achievement with differentiation between males and females (Wood et al., 2010) and also differentiation between racial groups (Jeyner, 2003).