A brief randomized controlled intervention targeting parents improves grades during middle school

Mesmin P Destin*, Ryan C. Svoboda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite a growing number of brief, psychosocial interventions that improve academic achievement, little research investigates how to leverage parents during such efforts. We designed and tested a randomized controlled intervention targeting parents to influence important discussions about the future and responses to academic difficulty experienced by their adolescent during eighth grade in the United States. We recruited experienced parents to convey the main messages of the intervention in a parent panel format. As expected, current parents who were randomly assigned to observe the parent panel subsequently planned to talk with their adolescents sooner about future opportunities and to respond more positively to experiences of academic difficulty than parents who were randomly assigned to a control group. The intervention also led to a significant increase in student grades, which was mediated by parents’ responses to academic difficulty. We suggest an increase in experimental research that utilizes parents to influence student achievement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • Adolescence
  • Intervention
  • Motivation
  • Parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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