Parenting, coping and motivation of Australian at-risk adolescents

Boon, Helen (2014) Parenting, coping and motivation of Australian at-risk adolescents. In: Garrett, Michael T., (ed.) Youth and Adversity: psychology and influences of child and adolescent resilience and coping. Psychology Research Progress . Nova Science Publishers, New York, NY, USA, pp. 1-26.

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Bronfenbrenner's theory of development underpinned a study of 1127 secondary students attending three North Queensland regional state high schools. Bronfenbrenner postulated that: a) human development and socialisation is context-dependent; b) parenting and school influences have an impact upon adolescent outcomes; c) socioeconomic factors and school environments affect development via socialising and psychological processes; d) parenting processes, which predict both academic achievement and psychological adjustment are moderated by socio-economic and family structure variables; and e) congruence perceived in two contexts wherein the developing adolescent participates strengthens adolescent outcomes. The aim of the study was to investigate how school and parental perceptions were related in academically resilient students and those at-risk and bow these students' motivations and coping strategies were moderated by particular parenting styles. A mixed methods approach was undertaken utilizing a survey instrument followed by interviews with selected students to triangulate and augment results. Results showed that students at-risk were found to have the lowest levels of self-efficacy, mastery goals, and positive coping strategies; highest levels of projective coping and self-handicapping; and highest number of suspensions. Their ratings of the school environment, based on their appraisal of teacher relationships, curriculum and affect about being at school were also the lowest. An important finding, however, was that all of these variables were significantly raised to the levels of typical students in those students at-risk whose parenting was authoritative, as indicated by high levels of warmth and involvement and supervision. This showed the importance of parenting in predicting motivations, coping and school perceptions. By contrast, resilient students, whose socio-demographic characteristics should have placed them in the at-risk category, reported parenting characterised by high levels of monitoring, comparable to typical students, though the warmth and involvement dimension of their parenting was low. They also reported a high proportion of neglectful parenting. Resilient students' levels of self-efficacy, mastery goals and positive coping were as high as typical students', while their levels of selfhandicapping and projective coping were low. Unlike students at-risk, their ratings of teacher relationships and the curriculum were high. Once again, in contexts characterised by high parenting ratings, higher mean scores for school perceptions, self-efficacy, mastery and positive coping and lower projective coping and self-handicapping scores were reported. The study demonstrated the validity of Bronfenbrenner's bioecological theory by showing the importance of mesosystem perception congruence in supporting positive adolescent adjustment and highlighted some important ways to support adolescent coping.

Item ID: 32787
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-63117-504-6
Keywords: parenting, resilience, coping, achievement, goals, at risk adolescents, school perceptions
Date Deposited: 19 May 2014 23:45
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology @ 60%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130399 Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified @ 40%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930104 Moral and Social Development (incl. Affect) @ 100%
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