Predicting Academic Achievement: The Role Of Parenting, Nonverbal Intelligence, and Goal Orientation in Turkish Children



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The purpose of this research is to examine parenting, child goal orientation, and child nonverbal intelligence as predictors of academic achievement among fifth grade Turkish children. The influence of intelligence, parenting style, and goal orientation on academic achievement is well established in the literature around the world. However, this study aims to contribute to the existing literature by examining those variables in the Turkish cultural context. Additionally, Turkish parenting, including whether parenting differ by child?s gender, were explored. Examining those variables in the Turkish cultural context is important, because Turkey is presently undergoing major socio-economical changes. Data from Istanbul, Turkey was used in this dissertation. The Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence Test, Achievement Goal Orientation, Parental Autonomy Support, and Parental Control questionnaires were used to collect data from 123 fifth grade children. The contribution of parenting, goal orientation, and nonverbal intelligence to academic achievement were investigated using regression analysis. Any difference in parenting by the child?s gender was examined by t-test. Finally, descriptive statistics were conducted to provide information on Turkish parenting styles in the 21st century.

The present study resulted that nonverbal intelligence predicted academic achievement. Promotion of independence (one aspect of parental autonomy support) predicted Mathematics achievement but not Language Arts achievement. Promotion of volitional functioning (another aspect of parental autonomy support), parental psychological control, and achievement goal orientation did not have statistically significant unique contributions to students? academic achievements. However, positive correlation between academic achievement and achievement goal orientation as well as autonomy support, and negative correlation between achievement and psychological control were detected. The present study also found that children living in Turkey view their parents as using high levels autonomy support and low levels of psychological control with them. In regards to whether parenting styles differed across sons and daughters, results indicate no gender differences for parental autonomy support, but gender differences were found for parental psychological control with sons perceiving their parents as applying greater psychological control over them than daughters. Study results have implications for both parents and educators in socialization factors that have influence on children?s healthy development and achievement.