The study was carried out to investigate the influence of parenting styles on in school adolescents’ achievement orientation and academic achievement in secondary schools in Enugu State. The design of the study is ex-post facto while the population comprised all SS II Students in Enugu North. The sample size for the study was 296 respondents while the researchers’ self developed questionnaires formed the instruments for data collection. Three experts validated the instruments and a Cronbach Alpha reliability coefficient method was employed to ensure the reliability of the instruments. Four research questions and four null hypotheses guided the study; while the t –test statistics was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significant. A review of empirical studies was carried out to guide the researchers into previous studies in the area and also to provide the researcher with the theoretical base. Two sets of questionnaires were used to collect data for the study while t- test statistics was used to analyze the data. The researcher found that the authoritative parenting style has more positive influence on achievement orientation and academic achievement of in-school adolescents and the influence of gender on in-school adolescents’ achievement orientation is not significant.

Keywords: Parenting styles, adolescents, achievement orientation and academic achievement

Background of the Study
When a child is born into a family, such a child is helpless and needs the help of others to get on. These others are usually the members of the family or the caregivers. The major caregivers are usually the parents. The word ‘parent’ refers to the biological relationship of an adult to a child or when used as a verb, to the care and protection that adult provides (Smith, 1999). A parent is a person who fosters all facets of a child’s growth by nourishing, protecting, and guiding the child through the course of development (Eze, 2002). Operationally, a parent is one who has the duty of transferring values, norms and experiences that could influence the adolescent in the society because parents exert the first influence on the children’s life before any other factor. Thus, parent shape the character and personality of its siblings through the process of parenting.

Okpoko (2004) and Utti (2006) defined parenting as the act of parenthood, child upbringing, training, rearing or child education. Olsen & Defrain (2000) defined parenting as the process of raising adolescent from infant to adulthood who will provide continuity within the family for years to come. Parenting is described as a constellation of attitudes toward the child that are communicated to the child and that, taken together, create an emotional climate in which the parent’s behaviour is expressed (Darling & Steinberg, 1993). The quality of parenting is more essential than the quantity of time spent with the child. For instance a parent can spend the entire afternoon with his or her child but the parent may be engaging in a different activity and not demonstrating interest towards the child. Operationally, parenting is the act of moulding, shaping, guiding, and supporting the development of an individual from infant to adulthood. Parenting is carried out differently by individuals because of differences in personalities and exposure, giving rise to different parenting styles.
Parenting style is a universal climate in which families function and in which child rearing behaviour of parents or other primary caregivers revolve (Chiew, 2011). Kelland (2000) observe that where an ideal parenting style is employed in the home, the children are disciplined but where this is not, the reverse is the case. It has also been observed that in-school adolescents in public secondary schools especially in Enugu State are faced with a lot of problems which include: lack of parent monitoring and control, and poor academic achievement. The ways to rear children is presented in Baumrind typology of parenting styles. Authoritative parenting style indicated in Baumrind typology of parenting style is the best way to rear children. Though, Children go through different stages in life; therefore parents create their own parenting styles from a combination of factors that evolve over time as children begin to develop their own personalities. In the context of this study, Parenting styles are the representation of how parents respond to the demands of their children. Many authors have presented different forms of parenting styles but for the purpose of this study, the researcher is adopting Baumrind (1973) parenting styles which include authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved.

Authoritarian parents are highly controlling in their use of authority but are not responsive. They are often strict and harsh. They show little affection to their children. They do not consider the children’s opinion as a group, and discourage verbal give-and-take. Obedience, respect, and tradition are valued. Rules are non-negotiable; parents are always right and disobedient children are often punished physically (Baumrind, 1989). The authoritarian parents have high expectations of maturity and want to control their child’s behaviour and attitudes; and do not condone disobedience and confrontation from their children with regards to laid down rules, regulation, traditions and decision.

Authoritative parents are warm and communicate well with their children. They are both responsive to the needs of their children and demanding in that they set expectations for their children. This type of parenting style permits children enough freedom of expression so that they can develop a sense of independence without extending beyond reasonable limits. They are firm, consistent, and fair. They establish and enforce behaviour standards and stay in control by encouraging their children to follow the standard. Family rule is democratic rather than dictatorial (Berger, 2001). In authoritative parenting, children’s opinions are valued and respected. They are encouraged to decide and accept responsibility for their actions and decisions (Cherry, 2005). In addition, such parents are more likely to encourage academic success. This parenting style is in favour of one of the variables in the present study which is academic achievement.

Permissive parents on the other hand are high in warmth but lack control towards their children. They are more responsive to the needs of their children but less demanding. Permissive parents are lenient, do not require mature behaviour, allow considerable self-regulation and avoid confrontation. They find it hard to set clear limits and provide structure. They tend to reward bad behaviour regularly. Children are not pushed to obey guidelines or standards such that even when they do exist, they are not enforced (Sarac, 2001). Permissive parents take orders and instructions from their children. They are passive, endow children with power, have low expectations, use minimal discipline and do not feel responsible for how their children turn out. Ironically, these children turn out to be the unhappiest of all. They are more likely to exhibit such psychological problems as anxiety and depression. Research links permissive parents with delinquency, substance abuse, and sexual activities (Sailor, 2010).

Uninvolved parent demands almost nothing and gives almost nothing in return, except near – absolute freedom. This style is low in both demandingness and responsiveness. At its worst, it can verge into neglect. They rarely dialogue with their adolescents and generally do not want to be bothered by their children. Little is known about this parenting style and research on this population of parents is lacking because that are typically not very responsive or involved in their children’s lives and therefore do not volunteer to be studied (Cramer, 2002). For the reasons above, the researcher is limiting the study to authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive parenting styles. Research shows that some parenting styles do not favour good achievement orientation and academic achievement while others do. Parenting style has been found to predict child well – being in a number of areas, including social skills, academic achievement, and the degree of problem behaviour (Baumrind, 1989). The response and demand of parents to their children will be influenced by achievement orientation of adolescents.

Adolescents go through the period of adolescence thus, Wigfield, Eccles & Pintrich, (1996) defined adolescence as a transitional stage of development between childhood and adulthood, representing a period of time during which a person experiences a variety of biological changes and encounter a number of emotional issues, thus, this period is termed the period of storm and stress. Adolescence according to Who Health.....

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