The vast majority of people -- 86 percent -- said they believe that parental support is the top method to improving schools, according to a 1997 report referenced on the Michigan Department of Education website. The effects of parent influence on studies isn't simply a singular effect on one grade or class score. Instead, parents are often key players when it comes to helping students succeed in specific areas and in their overall education.
Beliefs and Expectations
While parental involvement in terms of parents coming into the school to help out seems like the most likely influence on a child's studies, their beliefs on education also play a pivotal role. The Michigan Department of Education notes that parental expectations for a student's success are the most gauge when it comes to predicting achievement. Setting the expectations for high academic achievement, and instilling those beliefs in children, can help students excel in their studies.
A positive parent influence that includes high expectations and involvement can lead to higher achievement. Scholars at the Harvard Family Research Project note that increased parental involvement produces higher grades and test scores for children. This doesn't mean every child of an involved parent will automatically get straight A's. Instead, the research into positive parental influence and student achievement demonstrates that parental involvement is a factor that increases the chances of a student doing well.
The research on parental involvement suggests that family influence can affect school attendance, motivation, self-esteem and a lower rate of suspension, according to the Michigan Department of Education. Increased attendance coupled with high motivation and self-esteem can lead to improved academic outcomes. Additionally, parental influence plays a role in decreasing behaviors that distract from academic excellence, including drug and alcohol use or violence against peers.
Parental influence over a child's development and education isn't a one-way street, according to the American Psychological Association's website. As much as parents influence a child, the child also influences the parent. The parent-child dynamic is more of an interactive, rather than one-way, process. Parents and children react to one another, allowing the parent to change approaches based on the child's needs. This provides both parents and children the opportunity to invest in the student's education and become a team working toward scholastic success.