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Relation of Child Self-Evaluation with Parenting Style and Classroom Environment

Drymon, Stephanie
Previous research has examined the relation between parenting style and adolescent self-efficacy. Furthermore, research has examined the link between the classroom environment and various child social, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. However, research has yet to examine the relation between parenting styles and child self-efficacy for younger children, nor has it examined the relative influences of parenting styles and classroom environment on child self-efficacy. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relations among these variables for first grade students in order to inform efforts to support and strengthen child self-efficacy during the early school years. As part of the Family and Schools for Health (FiSH) project, 489 first grade students were interviewed at the beginning of their first grade year. Their self-perception was assessed using the Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children (PSPCSAYC) and their perception of the socio-emotional classroom environment was assessed using the School as Community measure. Four hundred and eighty-nine parents (mostly mothers) completed questionnaires regarding their parenting styles at the beginning of the spring semester using the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ). Contrary to hypotheses, none of the three parenting styles was significantly related to child self-efficacy. Classroom environment, however, was found to be significantly positively related to child self-efficacy. Classroom environment was found to account for a significant amount of variance in child self-efficacy above that which was explained by each of the three parenting styles. Suggestions of future research are provided and implications for effective classroom and school-based interventions are discussed.