MATERNAL EDUCATION, MATERNAL LANGUAGE ACCULTURATION, PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT, AND MATERNAL SOCIAL SUPPORT AS PREDICTORS OF THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SOCIOEMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF ASIAN AMERICAN CHILDREN

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Date
2009
Authors
Wang, Xiaofang
Advisor
Koblinsky, Sally A.
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Abstract
Asian American families are one of the fastest growing groups of the American population. Although multiple studies point to the importance of parents in children's development, there are few empirical studies of the role of mothers and family members in the academic achievement and socioemotional development of Asian American children. Therefore, this study examined the role of maternal education, maternal language acculturation, maternal and family member involvement in home and school activities, and maternal social support in predicting the reading skills, mathematical thinking skills, peer relations, externalizing behavior problems, and internalizing behavior problems of Asian American children. The sample included 311 third grade Asian American children who had biological mothers of Asian heritage and whose families were participants in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999 (ECLS-K). Mothers were interviewed by telephone or in person, and direct assessments were made of children's academic skills, peer relations, and behavior problems. Secondary data analyses included descriptive statistics, bivariate correlations, and hierarchical multiple regressions. Findings revealed that higher maternal education predicted better child reading and mathematical skills, poorer peer relations, and fewer internalizing behavior problems. Higher maternal language acculturation predicted poorer child mathematical thinking skills and better peer relations. Greater maternal and family involvement in school activities predicted fewer child internalizing problems. Maternal social support was not a significant predictor of any child outcomes in this group of Asian American children. Implications of the findings for developing interventions aimed at mothers of Asian heritage to enhance their children's academic achievement and socioemotional development are discussed.
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