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The academic achievement of adolescents has been a major concern of educators for years. As documented in the research literature, adolescent achievement has been associated with several outcomes such as delinquency (Sampson & Laub, 1993; Wiesner & Silbereisen, 2003), psychopathology (Kurdek, 1987; McDermott, Steinberg & Angelo, 2005), substance abuse (Engel, Nordlohne, Hurrelman & Holler, 1987; Wright & Fitzpatrick, 2004; Lillehoj, Trudeau & Spoth, 2005) and educational and occupational attainment (Coleman, 1961, Jencks, 1972; Marjoribanks, 2005; Kirkpatrick, Elder & Stern, 2005). Furthermore, adolescent underachievement is a rising social problem (Mooney, Knox & Schacht, 2002). According to Bruno and Adams (1994), disturbing percentages of high school students are scoring below grade level. Academic achievement of adolescents worsens when comparing achievement data from 1983 and 1993. For example, both the numbers of adolescents of 12 to 14 years of age performing below grade level in 1993 and the comparison data from 1983 and 1993 indicated that the number of low achieving adolescents appears to be growing. Male adolescents were found to perform at lower academic levels between the ages of 15 to 17. In addition, the number of females of all races performing below grade level have increased by 1.3 percent between the ages of 12 to 14 and 15 to 17. However, the numbers of African and Hispanic American females below grade level continues to worsen slightly (from 33.2 % to 34.6% and 28.3% to 29.3 % respectively) during the 12 to 14 and the 15 to 17 year range (Bruno & Adams, 1994). More recent data has also underscored consistent disparities in achievement due to race and gender (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). Some of the achievement gaps have become more evident during adolescence. Based on the trend data, achievement disparities as a function of race have been more pronounced. For example, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), white students had higher average reading scores than their black peers. The gap between white and black students in reading narrowed between 1971 and 1999 in each age group (e.g., 9-year olds, 13-year olds, 17-year olds). However, since 1999 it has widened somewhat at ages 13 and 17 (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). Also based on the U.S. Department of Education (2000) data, in 1999 white students had higher average mathematics and science scores than their black peers. In regard to mathematics scores, the gap between white and black students narrowed between 1973 and 1999 in each age group. However, some widening was evident since 1986 at age 13, and since 1990 at each 17. In regard to science scores, the gap between white and black students generally narrowed since 1970 for 9 and 13-year olds, but not for 17-year olds. In addition, disparities in gender still persist, but are not as pronounced and statistically significant. For example, in 1999 female adolescents had higher average reading scores than male students in each age group. However, the gap among the 13-year olds and the 17-year olds widened between males and females between 1971 and 1999 (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). The apparent difference between male and female students’ average mathematics scores was not significant at any age. Among 17-year olds, the score gap that had favored male students in the 1970’s ultimately disappeared, and by 1999 the difference was no longer statistically significant. In 1999 males outperformed females in science at ages 13 and 17. Among 17-year olds, the score gap between males and females has narrowed since 1969 (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). Previous research has linked components of family interaction to cognitive competence. Diana Baumrind's popular work in this area yielded three parenting styles that have consequences for the development of cognitive and social competence. A vast amount of literature has been published examining the effects of parenting styles on children's outcomes, particularly establishing the benefits of authoritative parenting in contrast with negative outcomes linked to authoritarian and permissive parenting. Many students leave college without obtaining an undergraduate degree due to poor academic performance or social adjustment. Less than 50 percent of U.S. college students entering four-year colleges or universities actually graduate, researchers at Council for Aid to Education (CAE) said in a 2001 report from The Associated Press. Entry into college characterizes a new stage of life for the traditional college student as many face a level of independence and personal responsibility not previously experienced (Lanhinrichsen Rohling, Larsen & Jacobs, 1997). Due to individual and familial differences, adolescents inevitably will encounter varying levels of academic success as they negotiate this transition (Brooks & DuBois, 1995). A plethora of research exists attempting to explain why teens do not succeed in college. Since parents provide the foundation of life values to children, it was worthwhile to examine their role in the academic success or failure of their offspring. Which parenting style best prepares young adults for higher education and academic accomplishment once they have migrated to university life? This realm of research may help to label ineffective behaviors demonstrated by parents and parents may take note to benefit subsequent generations academically.

Not only have differences in achievement outcomes related to race and gender, but motivation has also been examined as a contributing factor. Recent studies have supported the differential impact of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on academic outcomes (Broussard & Garrison, 2004; Lepper, Corpus & Iyengar, 2005; Otis, Grouzet & Pelletier, 2005.

However this research is aimed at investigating the influence parenting style has on the academic achievement of senior secondary school students.


Recent studies have challenged the notion that authoritative parenting promotes higher academic achievement, noting that contextual variables such as race, ethnicity and culture should be considered and controlled for in examining this relationship (Weiss & Schwartz, 1996). In addition, some researchers have proposed a reconceptualization of the authoritative parenting style as well as consideration of middle-range categories of parenting style in regard to its impact on academic achievement (Gray & Steinberg, 1999; Slicker, 1996). Still other researchers have concluded that, unlike previous studies, nonWhite adolescents and their parents were largely unclassifiable in the traditional parenting style dimensions and that there exists an apparent need for a broader conceptualization of parenting style (McBride-Chang & Chang, 1998). Based on contradictory findings in the literature on the effect of parenting style on academic achievement, there exists a need to further examine the contention that authoritative parenting promotes higher academic achievement among adolescents. Also, due to evidence in the literature that calls for a reconceptualization of the traditional parenting style dimensions, the generalizability among all racial and ethnic groups of the impact of authoritative parenting on achievement outcomes remains questionable. To add to previously noted contradictions, the effect of parenting style on academic achievement should also be examined in view of the influence of the mediating variables of motivation, goal orientation, and self-efficacy. Parenting style is basically a contextual variable, but within the parenting environment (in which specific parenting behaviors are employed to promote achievement) other individual factors may develop (e.g., goal orientation, motivation, self-efficacy) that may serve to mediate or strengthen the proposed relationship between parenting style and academic achievement. Therefore, it is educationally meaningful and necessary to test the generalizability of the relationship between parenting style and academic achievement among adolescents, and investigate the extent to which authoritative parenting promotes higher achievement outcomes despite other mediating variables such as motivation, goal orientation, and self-efficacy.


The main objective of this study is to find out the influence parenting styles has on the academic achievement of their children. The specific objectives are:

1.     To find out the different types of parenting styles

2.     To find out the most suitable parenting style

3.     To establish the relationship between parenting styles and the academic achievement of secondary school student.

4.     To find out what influence parenting style has on the career path of the students.


The following research questions will guide the researcher while conducting the research and to help achieve the specified objectives:

1.     What are the various types of parenting styles

2.     What is the most suitable parenting style that influence positive the students positively

3.     Is any significant relationship between parenting styles and the academic achievement of the students

4.     Is there any relationship between parenting style and choosing of career of their students


The significance of the project will be to inform stakeholders of the potential predictors of higher achievement outcomes. Of particular benefit is the focus of the study on non-cognitive or psycho-social predictors of academic achievement. The study will provide other researchers with insight on significant gaps in the literature concerning predictors of achievement outcomes, especially regarding the relationship between parenting style and academic achievement. The study will benefit teachers in helping them to understand the importance of motivation, goal orientation and academic selfefficacy as these factors relate to engaging students in academic tasks. The study will aid parents in allowing them to realize the influence of the parenting environment and parenting style as a contextual element in shaping achievement outcomes. Finally, the study will help students to develop their potential as they discover the role of motivation, goal orientation and self-efficacy in adapting to diverse learning situations.


This study covers the entire student of Nsukka local government area of Enugu State


The major problem faced during this research is time, the researcher has limited time to complete the research and also insufficient fund to finance the project also to visit more one local government.


Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something

Parenting Styles:  a psychological construct representing standard strategies that parents use in their child rearing.

Academic Achievement:  the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals. 

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research


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