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Research finds students who want to please parents do better in school

WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011 22:12 PM

While countless studies have been done to find the benefits of parental involvement in a child's life, new research is suggesting that students who feel more obligated toward their parents are more likely to perform better in school.

The new study, which was published in Child Development, suggests that children who feel that their parents believe they are responsible are more likely to be engaged in school. The researchers suggested that this was because these kids wanted to try harder to please their parents with their good grades.

The researchers wrote that this was a further indication that parental involvement was key in helping the child try in school. The report found that students typically become less engaged in their schoolwork by the time they hit middle school.

"Explicitly talking with teens about acting responsibly is likely to be useful. Involvement in teens' lives is also very important," said the study's lead author, Eva M. Pomerantz. "For example, when parents are involved in teens' learning, teens tend to develop a sense of responsibility to parents, which maintains their achievement over the middle school years."