The parenting practices of African-American families and their relationship to the academic achievement of their school-aged children.

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The purpose of the study was to assess the predictive relationship between the parenting practices of low income African-American families and the academic achievement of their school aged children. The study proposed a regression path model that was used to study direct and indirect influences of the Afro-cultural theme of communalism and family support practices on math and reading report card scores. The family support practices included the primary care giver/parent's involvement in the child's academic experience and their perception of child-nurturing behavior. Students' emotional adjustment was assessed as a mediating variable. The parents and teachers of 98 students consented to participate in the study, which included five questionnaires. The questionnaires used were (1) a subscale of the Teacher-Child Rating Scale (T-CRS), (2) the Parent version of the Parent Teacher Involvement Questionnaire (PTIQ), (3) the Home Communalism Measure (HCM), (4) the nurturance subscale of the Parenting Dimensions Inventory (PDI) and (5) a background questionnaire. Teachers completed the T-CRS for each student participant to assess students' emotional adjustment and parent involvement. Primary caregivers completed the PTIQ and the PDI to assess their level of classroom involvement and nurturing parent-child interactions, respectively. Caregivers also completed a background questionnaire to provide demographics data. Students completed the HCM to assess their endorsement of communal beliefs in their home environment. Design analyses included Pearson correlation matrices and Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis (HMRA). An inter-correlational matrix was produced in order to identify significant relationships between variables. HMRA was used to determine the contributions of the background and predictor variables (communalism, nurturing parenting, caregiver's level of academic involvement), and the mediating variable (emotional adjustment) in explaining academic achievement. Caregiver education level, caregiver-teacher relationship quality, and child emotional adjustment explained 27% of the variance in achievement. Child emotional adjustment was found to have mediated the relationship between caregiver-teacher relationship quality and academic achievement.