Parent-Child Stress on School Mathematics Homework in a Multicultural Society

Parent-Child Stress on School Mathematics Homework in a Multicultural Society

Daya Weerasinghe (Federation University Australia, Australia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0319-5.ch009


The aim of this chapter is to discuss parent-child stress among different cultures in relation to parents' perceptions and their involvement in mathematics homework and children's academic achievement. Several decades of research have demonstrated that parental involvement in children's achievement is associated with a variety of positive and negative academic and motivational outcomes. It is argued that parents' involvement may matter more for some children than for others and parents are active participants rather than passive observers in children's education. This chapter provides insights on how parental involvement in homework can make a difference and why excessive involvement of parents can cause stress for both parents and children. Further, it is discussed how the cultural differences between Asian and European groups appear to narrow down with acculturation over the years.
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Parents of different cultures have different intervention strategies and act differently when they are involved in education of their children (Hong & Ho, 2005; Phillipson & Phillipson, 2007). Attitudes towards completing students’ homework may be no different. At present the amount of homework assigned to students in any subject seems to be a concern in most families. It is observed that some parents prefer more homework to keep their children busy with their studies while some parents prefer their children to do extra-curricular activities after school. Given the discrepancies in findings in literature, it seems important to explore the parent–child stress in mathematics homework as well as the influence of culture and context. This chapter provides details of how parents’ perceptions and involvement affect their children and the ways of such interaction take place in the home environment of different cultures.

While involving parents in school activities has an important social and community function, the engagement of parents with their children at home is most likely to result in a positive difference to academic outcomes. Harris and Goodall (2008) argued that parental engagement in children’s learning in the home makes the greatest difference to student achievement. Parents’ involvement in children’s education at home differs with subjects as described by Fan and Williams (2010). Their studies have implied the necessity for further investigation of the factors that contribute to the development of parent–child relationship in education. However, this seems to create parent–child stress in some families through which children’s academic and cognitive outcomes can be affected.

It is noticed that there are extreme cases of parenting among Asian groups. Some parents complained about their children’s carelessness when they had achieved a mark around 97% for a test. They wanted their children to be perfect and they seemed to inquire about the 3% lost. Sometimes they blamed their children for playing too much and confiscated items such as laptops, iPads, and mobile phones, not allowing any entertainment. It is important to realise that these parents might not have achieved perfect scores for every subject when they were young. Unfortunately it seems that they expect too much from their children. Certain parents preferred teachers to give more homework just because they thought that these children played too much. Such parental attitudes seem to be varied among different cultures but cause parent–child stress within families.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Parental Perceptions: Attributes such as attitudes, beliefs, aspirations, expectations, academic standards, and values.

CFA: Confirmatory factor analysis.

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