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families on the educational attainments of the individuals. For this purpose, a social research interview was conducted and the response of the interviewee is taken as a base for making conclusions about the issue at hand.
Family has an influential impact on the educational attainments of an individual. It is a widely supported fact that if the individuals want to give an effective performance in their educational life then they must have complete support of their families, especially their parents. With the change in the structures and functions of the family in the contemporary times, the role played by the families in the educational attainment has somewhat changed but families still have great impact on the educational life of an individual. (Wilson, n.d.)
In order to analyze the impact of family on the educational attainments of individuals a social research interview was conducted. The interviewee was a college student. He was presented with open ended questions so that he may express his views explicitly. He was ensured that his personal information would be kept private and the information about his age, academic institution and name would not be disclosed. He was thoroughly informed of the fact that the interview was conducted for academic research purposes. It was also made clear that any critical information regarding his family would be kept private.
Various questions about the interviewee's family background, educational experiences and educational aspirations were asked. On the basis of the response that was being given by the interviewee, a conclusion was being made regarding the influence of the family on the educational life, performance and attainment. The interviewee was requested to give unbiased and true responses as any kind of biased attitude from his side would have affected the results of the research paper.
Data and Analysis
The major variables that were observed to have an influential impact on the educational performance of the individuals are; family structure, parental involvement, parent work related attitude, parenting style and socioeconomic status. (Wilson, n.d.) The findings from the interview are listed below;
Even though, educational achievements depend on the curriculum, the structure of the academic institution and the characteristics and qualities of the teachers but families also play an influential role. According to a study conducted by the National Research Center (NRC), the students coming from single parent families have to strive very hard in order to perform well in their academic lives, whereas, those coming from extended families or having both the parents can demonstrate good performance in their academic life in a relatively easy manner. (Wilson, n.d.)
It is very necessary to have an appropriate family structure in order to perform well in the academic life as the interviewee reported to have a nuclear family. His family has six members and he is the eldest one. According to him, as the eldest child of the family he is expected to perform very well in his educational life. He also reported that both his parents, especially his mother, explicitly express what they expected from him. He reported that this expression motivated him to perform well as he wants to fulfill the expectations of the family. Apart from that, he stated that none of his relatives were very deeply involved in their lives, which according to him, provided him with enough personal space to concentrate on his activities. The nuclear family structure hence enabled the interviewee to better concentrate on his educational activities and develop better results.
It is a generally accepted fact that if the pupils are to excel and perform well in their academic life they must have proper parental guidance and support. Parental involvement can take various forms including, good parenting, establishing good educational goals for children, construction of good aspirations for the children and having healthy parent children discussions etcetera. It has been reported by a number of studies that healthy parental involvement, especially in the form of good parenting at home, has positive and influential impacts on the academic achievements and attainments of an individual. (Desforges and Abouchaar, 2003)
The interviewee stated that his parents had been thoroughly involved in his educational matters. According to him, the way his parents used to get involved in his educational or academic life has changed considerably. At the elementary school level, he stated, his mother used to pay a lot of attention on his homework. She made sure that he completed his homework. And according to him at the current level, his father, and sometimes his mother, have detailed discussions with him regarding his career plans and about the profession which he would like to pursue. They advise him on a good choice of career. All these facts have enabled the interviewee to attain good results and perform in a good way at all the academic levels.
According to Zeigler, flexible parenting style and positive attitude of parents towards the academic institution in which their child is enrolled has many potential benefits. These benefits include, high rate of achievements in the school, high rate of attendance, low rates of dropouts and low rates of failure, increased rate of competition at the high school level and increase in the rate of enrollments at the college and university level etcetera. (Wilson, n.d.)
When inquired about the parenting style, the interviewee stated that his parents followed a mixed style. At some points he regarded them to be stringent, especially when it came to his performance and at other points they acted flexibly. For example, when he had to opt for a college major his parents gave him complete liberty. It was totally up to him to select a subject of his interest. This enabled the interviewee to perform well at the college level because the subjects that he is studying are of his own interest but he stated that he sometimes feels distressed because of the rigid attitude of his parents in relation to his performance level. The parents, in general, shall, therefore, be careful and shall not put excessive burden on the child as this burden deteriorates their performance rather than enhancing or improving it.
According to a study conducted by Goodman and Greg, parental expectations have an influential impact on the educational attainments of the child. Parental expectations are said to be positively related to parental involvement. It is also reported by a number of studies that different children respond to the expectations of their parents differently, therefore, parents shall mould their expectations according to the abilities of the children, in order to ensure that their expectations may have a positive impact on their children. Apart from that, parental expectations are also related to the socioeconomic status of the family. For instance only 37% of the mothers belonging to lower class families expected their children to go to universities. Parental expectation, however, can prove out to be great motivators for children and can help them in achieving high and challenging goals in their academic lives. (Gorard and See et al., 2012)
When our interviewee was being inquired about the expectations of his parents, he stated that his parents express their feelings rather explicitly and he felt motivated by those feelings and they acted as a driving force for him.
Parental Substance Abuse
Negative parental attitude can have a negative impact on the educational performance of the children. Heavy drinking habits, increase in the use of illicit drugs and high levels of smoking, if prevalent in the parents, can damage the cognitive abilities of the children. This case is especially evident when both the parents are involved in such activities. This can stress out the children and as a result they are not able to give their fullest to their academic life. (Gorard and See et al., 2012)
When the interviewee was asked about parental attitude he said that his mother neither smokes, nor drinks. According to him, his father is a casual smoker but that does not bother him a lot. But when he was asked that if any of the above activities would have been prevalent in the behavioral pattern of his parents, would his by studies be affected by them? Then his answer was a definite yes.
The level of education of the parents is a significant indicator of the educational level of the children and their behavioral patterns. It is expected that the children flourish in their educational as well occupational life if the educational levels of both their parents are satisfactory. It is also said that parental education plays an important role when the child is at the beginning stage of his academic life and then when he is about to choose a career for himself. (Palmer, 2009)
Both the parents of our interviewee are graduates. According to him, they are of great help whenever he needs them because they have appropriate skills to provide assistance. His father is a graduate in finance and he has also selected finance as a major. As it is quite…[continue]
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