The Effect of Parental Involvement On Math Achievement of Children With Asian Mothers
Morrison, Donna R.
Non-Asian parents often set Asian American students as role models for their own children because of the former's comparatively high scores on standardized math tests. This study uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten (ECLS-K) to examine whether there are aspects of the parenting unique to Asian mothers that may at least partially explain why their children excel in math. The aim of this study is to answer three questions. First, do the average math scores of Asian American children surpass those of other students as early as the start of kindergarten? Second, what is the relationship for all students between math performance and parenting practices, including: frequently engaging in activities with children, placing high levels of importance on the acquisition of certain school readiness skills, and having high expectations for children's educational attainment? And finally, can the comparatively higher math performance of young Asian American students, if it exists, be attributed to differences across these parenting dimensions between Asian and non-Asian mothers? Based on the results of OLS regression models, this study provides evidence of an advantage of having an Asian mother on children's standardized math scores. Specifically, Asian mothers are more likely than other mothers to consider it very important for their children to have counting skills before they enter kindergarten as well as to expect their children to complete college and to earn Masters' degrees. These findings point to the potential benefits of encouraging mothers to help their children acquire math skills at an early age and to communicate to their children high expectations for educational attainment.
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