Sign up for our newsletter, to get updates regarding the Call for Paper, Papers & Research.
Impact of Parental Involvement with Homework on Pupils’ Mathematics Performance in Public Basic Schools in Ghana
Francis Avevor
Advanced School of System and Data Studies (ASSDAS), Accra Institute of Technology, Accra, Ghana
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.47772/IJRISS.2024.806128
Received: 26 July 2022; Revised: 31 August 2022; Accepted: 07 September 2022; Published: 11 July 2024
This descriptive survey, underpinned by selfdetermination theory, sought to determine the relationship between parental involvement with homework and their children’s academic performance in mathematics. It also examined the differences in the impact of involvement of single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers on children’s performance in mathematics. Data was collected using semistructured questionnaire from a sample of 440 pupils of five clusters of public basic schools in Accra, Ghana. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation), Pearson’s product moment correlation and ANOVA. The results revealed that children’s performance in mathematics has a significantly positive relationship with parental goals, values and expectations (PGE), parental support (PSU) and children’s mathematics selfefficacy (MSE); and a significantly negative relationship with parental control (PCO) and homework task persistence (HTP). This study also showed that parental goals, values and expectations (PGE) has a significantly moderate relationship with both parental support (PSU) and children’s mathematics selfefficacy (MSE); while children’s homework task persistence (HTP) has a significantly moderate relationship with both parental support (PSU), and children’s mathematics selfefficacy (MSE). Furthermore, this study revealed that children of double parents outperformed those of single parents and nonparent caregivers in mathematics; and the significant difference in the mean scores of the children in mathematics is traceable to the high absolute mean score differences between the children of double parents and single parents; and between the children of double parents and nonparent caregivers.
Keywords— Parental involvement, mathematics performance, selfefficacy, parental prudence, homework.
Parents’ involvement in children’s educational activities is important [1], [2], [3] because it can facilitate children’s acquisition of enhanced behavior and their attainment of higher academic performance [4][9]. Monitoring children’s educational activities, motivating them, managing their behaviour, and supporting them (through homework assistance and providing their educational needs) are examples of parental involvement. Many studies have demonstrated that parental involvement has a positive impact on children’s academic performance [7], [8], [10][13]. However, some other studies produced mixed results [14], [15], [16].
Pupils’ terminal examination scores in Ghanaian pretertiary schools (comprising basic schools and senior secondary schools), as well as their results for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE), frequently reveal low academic achievement in several subjects, including mathematics [17], [18]. A continuous pattern of poor performance in mathematics among pupils is a result of
heterogenous factors involving pupils, teachers, and schools [19], [20]. Specifically, many educational stakeholders blame this phenomenon on teachers’ poor lesson delivery, pupils’ negative attitudes toward some subjects, poor parental controls, lack of parental motivation and assistance with homework, and parents’ lack of interest in their children’s educational activities [21][24]. Pupils’ performance in other courses that need mathematical knowledge and abilities might be impaired by a lack of mastery and poor performance in mathematics [25].
Reference [26] assert that there is a significantly negative relationship between parental assistance with homework and children’s academic achievement. They ascribe this phenomenon to children’s inability to, on their own, develop selfregulatory strategies. In contrast, schools, teachers and parents believe that parental homework involvement is essential for pupils’ academic performance; and they expect some level of parental involvement in pupils’ homework completion [27], [28] [29]. However, many parents appear very busy with their daily activities (including work and leisure) and do not have time to effectively and efficiently monitor their children’s educational activities. As such, their children are left to do their homework without parental assistance. Many children, therefore, struggle to do their homework; and often do it abysmally either because they do not understand the concepts on which the assignments are based or because they have not allocated themselves with ample time to do the homework.
Since the early 1990s, Ghanaian basic schools (comprising primary and junior high schools) and senior high schools have adopted Continuous Assessment (CA) of 30% for classwork (comprising inclass assignments and homework) and 70% for endofterm examinations. It is, therefore, imperative that pupils do their homework assiduously with maximum parental assistance. A pupil’s poor cumulative performance in homework, therefore, implies that his/her total scores and grades will be adversely affected. Poor grades, and for that matter, poor academic performance of pupils may impair their educational aspirations and future professional success [27], [30]; and turn some of them into truants, schooldropouts, and social deviants (such as gamblers, alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, armedrobbers, burglars, et cetera). This study, therefore, seeks to assess the impact of parental assistance with homework on pupils’ performance in mathematics in Ghanaian public basic schools.
Many studies have been conducted relating to parental involvement with homework and their effects on children’s academic performance. However, these studies largely concentrated on examining the perceptions of teachers and parents, thus, leaving out the perceptions of children. Very few studies have analyzed parental involvement with pupils’ homework that focused on a specific subject [31], [32]. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, available literature does not do any comparative analysis of parental involvement with homework concerning the following categories of parents: single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers. This study, therefore, made a comparative assessment of the involvement of the three categories of parents (single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers), and investigated the impact of parental involvement with homework on children’s performance in mathematics.
The objectives of this study are outlined as follows:
The research questions for this study are outlined as follows:
A. Conceptual Framework
Parental involvement has many dimensions [33]. This includes parental values, beliefs, expectations and attitudes regarding their children’s educational aspirations and attainments [34], parental support with homework, parental control and demandingness, communication with teachers, and attending school functions and parentteacher association meetings [35], [36]. Research has found that parental values and expectations can predict children’s values and academic achievements [37], [38], [39].
Existing literature on parental involvement with pupils’ homework has examined various parental styles and/or parental dimensions. Reference [40] has differentiated between authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles; while [41] differentiated between parenting dimensions of emotional support, and behavioural and psychological control. Furthermore, some studies have emphasized the importance of parents communicating their values, aspirations and goals to their children [42].
Popular theoretical frameworks for analyzing parental involvement with homework include [43]’s selfdetermination theory and [44]’s decay theory. The selfdetermination theory postulates that feelings of relatedness, competence, and autonomy are crucial for children’s motivation and skills development [43]. This implies that parental support and control are forms of parental involvement that satisfy the need for a child’s relatedness, competence, and autonomy. Parental support refers to children’s valuation of their parents’ homework assistance; whereas parental control connotes pressure and/or control which parents exert on children to complete assignments steadfastly and in a timely fashion.
The decay theory postulates that learning leaves a mark on the brain, which should be actively used else it might fade away over time. This implies that in parenting and academic accomplishment, if parents and teachers do not stress the positive qualities that they want their children/pupils to acquire on a regular basis, the learners may forget about them and eventually adopt the negative habits. Also, if pupils do not revise things they have learnt or been taught on a regular basis, they are likely to forget them.
Furthermore, [45] formulated a model with five levels for analyzing the impact of parental involvement on their children’s educational activities, as shown in Fig. 1. The levels are outlined as follows:
Fig. 1 Model of Parental Involvement Process [45], p.74
B. Empirical Literature
Research has revealed that children’s senses of competence and autonomy as well as their learning efforts increase when parents give them autonomy thus allowing them to do the homework themselves and providing them with assistance, if needed [46]. Specifically, [47] found a positive relationship between perceived parental homework support and children’s academic achievement. Research also showed that parental control reduces children’s persistence in learning as well as their senses of competence and autonomy [48]. Also, [30] and [47] found that there is a negative relationship between perceived parental homework control and children’s academic achievement. Thus, parental support can boost children’s homework performance while parental control can impede it.
Existing literature suggests that parents’ involvement in their children’s academic achievement can differ at schoolgrade levels. In a metaanalysis regarding parental involvement programs for urban students, [39] found that parental involvement predicts children’s academic achievement better at elementary school level than at secondary school level. He ascribed three main reasons for this phenomenon; namely: parents’ higher motivation for involvement with their children’s educational activities (including homework) at their tender ages; higher influence of parents’ educational values on their children at their tender ages; and children’s selfbelief of their academic competences as they get higher in their education and become more autonomous (and, thus, get less parental involvement) in their academic activities.
Prior literature on parental involvement with educational attainment of elementary and secondary school students shows that parental expectations and aspirations as well as parental support and encouragement are positively related to children’s academic achievement [49][53].
Children’s performance in mathematics is influenced by their cognitive abilities, selfperceived beliefs, selfconcept, and the impact of teachers, parents and their peers [54], [55]. Some studies have used children’s selfperceived beliefs about their abilities and competencies in mathematics, their mathematics selfconcept and their attitudes towards mathematics to assess children’s academic achievement [54], [56]. Research has found a positive relationship between children’s mathematics selfconcept and their achievement in mathematics [57], [58]; and children’s cognitive ability enhances their achievement in mathematics [55]. In contrast, [32] found that parental control tends to inhibit children’s mathematics selfconcept.
In their recent study of the effect of parents’ involvement on Chinese students’ performance in mathematics, [9] analyzed data from 2866 students and their parents on the following three parental involvement dimensions: personal involvement, behavioral involvement and cognitive involvement. They made three findings: (1). Children from families with only one child outperformed those from families with two or more children in all the three parental involvement dimensions, as well as in “mental health, mathematics selfefficacy, and mathematics performance” (p.6); (2). The three parental involvement dimensions have different effects on students’ performance in mathematics; (3). Students’ mental health and mathematics selfefficacy partially mediate the influences of parental behavioral involvement and cognitive involvement on students’ performance in mathematics; whilst students’ mental health and mathematics selfefficacy fully mediate parental personal involvement on the students’ performance in mathematics.
In their analysis of how Korean middle school students’ academic selfefficacy and test anxiety relate to their parents’ involvement towards their learning strategy and performance in mathematics, [59] found that the most significant influence on students’ learning strategy and academic achievement was their academic selfefficacy. Similarly, in a longitudinal study to examine the relationship between parents’ involvement in homework and pupils’ performance in mathematics across third and sixth grades in 28 Estonia schools, [60] found a positive relationship between parental support and pupils’ homework task persistence; and that pupils’ low mathematics selfconcept predicted an increased parental control.
Combining findings from nine metaanalyses, [1] found a positive relationship between parents’ involvement and students’ academic performance, regardless of how parental involvement is defined or how students’ performance is measured. He also found that the relationship is strongest if parents’ expectations for their children’s academic performance is used to define parental involvement. Furthermore, he found the weakest impact when homework assistance is used to define parental involvement. Similarly, [2] concluded from their metaanalysis that there is a negative relationship between parents’ involvement with homework and children’s performance in mathematics. Also, in their study of private university students in Malaysia, [61] found a negative relationship between parents’ involvement and students’ academic performance in mathematics.
This study is underpinned by [43]’s selfdetermination theory and the parental involvement process model of [45]. The researcher, therefore, conceptualized parental homework involvement using the following five variables: (a). parental goals, values and expectations; (b). parental support, (c). parental control, (d). children’s mathematics selfefficacy, and (e). children’s homework task persistence. Fig. 2 showed the conceptual framework proposed for this study to establish whether parental involvement with homework has any impact on children’s performance in mathematics.
Fig. 2 Conceptual framework for parental involvement and children’s mathematics achievement
This study is a descriptive survey. The researcher used a mixed research design so as to have a comprehensive data analysis [62]. Specifically, a semistructured questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data on students’ mathematics performance, as well as their biographical data and 5scale likertstyle data on the five perception constructs in Table 2. Also, before the data analysis stage, the researcher held a 53minute focus group discussion with 3 headteachers and 8 teachers (from the selected clusters of schools), as well as 10 parents/caregivers. These two sets of data were triangulated for two reasons: i. to enhance the credibility and validity of the findings of this study; and ii. explain the results in more detail.
The instruments for measuring the following four (4) variables were adapted from literature as shown in Table 1:
However, an 11item instrument for gathering both biographical data (comprising age, gender, class, number of siblings, and parental type) and for measuring the perception of parental goals, values and aspirations was developed by the researcher; and this was validated by two university professors with expertise in questionnaire design.
Table 1. Instruments for Measuring Parental Support, Parental Control, Mathematics SelfEfficacy and Task Persistence
Measurement Variable  Source Adapted From  Number of data items 
Perceptions of parental support  [63]  7 
Perceptions of parental control  [60]  4 
Children’s mathematics selfefficacy  [64]  7 
Children’s homework task persistence  [60]  5 
Five data collectors were trained on ethical issues and quality data collection approaches. All the 6,487,133 pupils in public basic schools in Ghana during the 2020/2021 academic year [65] constituted the general population for this study. The target population comprised all eligible and potential public basic school pupils with the ability to read and understand texts in English language. According to [66], the national average for children aged 714 years who have foundational reading skills “based on contents for Grades 2 and 3” (p. 12) is 21%. Thus, the target population for this study was 1,362,298. This study’s accessible population comprised members of the target population who were willing and available to participate in this study.
The researcher used stratified random sampling technique to break the general population into regions and then randomly selected Greater Accra Region to focus on for this study. This selection was made considering financial constraints as well as the large size and the geographically dispersed nature of the target population. Also, the public basic schools in Greater Accra Region were stratified into metropolis/ municipalities/districts; and stratified further into locality types (namely: urban and rural areas); and random sampling technique was used to select one metropolis and one municipality in Accra for this study. Furthermore, the researcher used convenience sampling technique to select 4 urban clusters of schools and 1 rural cluster of schools (from the chosen metropolis and municipality in Accra). These 5 clusters of schools had a combined students’ population of 9,172. In compliance with [67]’s sample size determination table, a minimum sample size of 385 was targeted for this study. The researcher sought clearance from the headteachers of these schools; and with the help of one teacher from each of the 5 clusters of schools, a sample size of four hundred and forty (440) primary and junior high school pupils was randomly selected for this study. Furthermore, with the help of the headteachers, the parents/caregivers of the pupils selected for this study were contacted to seek their permissions for their children’s participation.
A total of 440 questionnaires were administered to the primary and junior high school pupils who were between the ages of 8 and 19 years; and could read and understand texts in English language [66]. 420 of the administered questionnaires were usable; thus, the response rate was 97.3%. The 420 completed questionnaires used for this study, therefore, exceeded the minimum number (of 385) required for this study.
Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, mean and standard deviation), Pearson’s product moment correlation and ANOVA on IBM SPSS Statistics version 28.0.1.1. Specifically, the statistical tools used for analyzing data in respect of each of the research questions are outlined as follows:
RQ1. What is the relationship between parental involvement with homework and pupils’ performance in mathematics (using the perceptions of pupils)?
Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to clearly determine the relationships/correlations among the variables.
RQ2. Are there any interrelationships among parental involvement variables and studentrelated variables?
Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to clearly determine the relationships/correlations among the variables.
RQ3. Is there any difference in the involvement of single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers with homework on children’s performance mathematics?
Frequency, Mean, Standard deviation, and ANOVA were used to determine the significance of differences in the mean scores of the children of these 3 parent types in mathematics; and trace such differences, if any.
Table 2 presented the demographic data of the respondents. It showed that the 420 pupils are between the ages of 8 and 19 years; and 108 (25.7%) of them are in Primary 13, .while 145 (34.5%) of them are in Primary 46, and the remaining 167 (39.8%) of them are in Junior high school 13. Also, 172 (40.95%) of the pupils have double parents while 149 (35.48%) of them have single parents and the remaining 99 (23.57%) have nonparent caregivers looking after them.
Table 2: Frequencies and Percentages of Respondents’ Demographic Data
Data Item  N  Percentage  Data Item  N  Percentage 
Age  Siblings  
8 – 10 years  59  14.0%  1 – 2  156  37.1% 
11 – 13 years  102  24.3%  3 – 4  133  31.7% 
14 – 16 years  125  29.8%  5 – 6  98  23.3% 
17 – 19 years  134  31.9%  > 6  33  7.9% 
Total  420  100.0%  Total  420  100.0% 
Class  Parent type  
Primary school 1–3  108  25.7%  Double parents  172  40.95% 
Primary school 4–6  145  34.5%  Single parents  149  35.48% 
Junior High school 1–3  167  39.8%  Nonparent caregivers  99  23.57% 
Total  420  100.0%  Total  420  100.00% 
Table 3 shows that average variance extracted (AVE) values higher than the 0.50 threshold [68] was attained, indicating convergent and discriminant validity. Also, Cronbach alpha reliability values higher than the 0.70 threshold [69] was attained indicating internal consistency of the data items. Furthermore, composite reliability (CR) values of at least 0.80 [70] was attained signifying convergent validity. Thus, the instrument passed the validity and variability tests.
TABLE 3: Mean, SD, Beta and Reliability Measures of the Study Variables  
Variables  Mean  SD  AVE  Beta  Cronbach α  CR  
Mathematics achievement (MA)  63.25  14.71  0.61  0.039  0.83  0.91  
Parental goals, expectations (PGE)  3.37  0.79  0.62  0.059  0.77  0.89  
Parental support (PSU)  3.12  1.70  0.58  0.045  0.83  0.87  
Parental control (PCO)  2.93  1.99  0.54  0.049  0.87  0.85  
Mathematics selfefficacy (MSE)  2.67  2.04  0.59  0.053  0.81  0.88  
Homework task persistence (HTP)  3.23  0.81  0.67  0.038  0.78  0.90 
n=420, Mathematics scores range from 0 – 100; all other variables use likertscale 15.
Among the five variables in Table 3, parental goals, values and expectations has the largest mean score of 3.37, while Mathematics selfefficacy has the smallest mean score of 2.67) Also, Mathematics selfefficacy has the largest standard deviation of 2.04, while parental goals, values and expectations has smallest standard deviation of 0.79.
RQ1. What is the relationship between parental involvement with homework and pupils’ performance in mathematics (using the perceptions of pupils)?
Table 4 revealed that there is a significantly positive correlation between children’s performance in mathematics and their perception of their parents’ goals, values and expectations (r=0.571, p<0.00001 and effect size r^{2}=0.326). The effect size interpretation table of [71] showed that this relationship is moderate (See Table 5). Thus, an increase in children’s perception of their parents’ goals, values and expectations will moderately increase their performance in mathematics. Similarly, there is a significantly moderate positive correlation between children’s performance in mathematics and their perceptions of their parents’ support (r=0.527, p<0.00001 and effect size r^{2}=0.278).
Table 4: Mean, Standard Deviation, Pearson’s Correlation Coefficients and Corresponding P Values
Variables  1 MA  2 PGE  3 PSU  4 PCO  5 MSE  6 HTP 
1. Mathematics achievement (MA)  1  .571
p<.00001 
.527
p<.00001 
.415
p<.00004 
.158
p<.00116 
.337
p<.00001 
2. Parental goals, values & expectations (PGE)  1  .511
p<.00001 
.365
p<00001 
.491
p<.00001 
.043
p<.3794 

3. Parental support (PSU)  1  .384
p<.00001 
.272
p<.00001 
.416
p<.00001 

4. Parental control (PCO)  1  .19
p<.00009 
.051
p<.29706 

5. Mathematics selfefficacy (MSE)  1  .526
p<.00001 

6. Homework task persistence (HTP)  1 
*p < .05
Table 5: Effect Size Interpretation Table.
Minimum Correlation coefficient value (r)  Coefficient of determination (r^{2})  Interpretation 
0.2  ≥ 0.04  Weak 
0.5  ≥ 0.25  Moderate 
0.8  ≥ 0.64  Strong 
Ferguson (2009)
This study also revealed that there is a significantly weak negative relationship between children’s performance in mathematics and their homework task persistence (r=0.337, p<0.00001 and effect size r^{2}=0.114). Furthermore, there is a significantly positive relationship between children’s performance in mathematics and their mathematics selfefficacy (r=0.158, p<0.00116 and effect size r^{2}=0.025) but the effect is negligible; thus, one cannot make a strong claim about this relationship. In contrast, there is a significantly weak negative correlation between children’s performance in mathematics and their perception of their parents’ control (r=0.415, p<0.00004 with the effect size r^{2} = 0.172). Thus, an increase in children’s perception of their parents’ control will weakly decrease their performance in mathematics.
RQ2. Are there any interrelationships among parental involvement variables and studentrelated variables?
Table 4 also revealed the strength of relationships between pairs of the five variables examined in this study. Children’s perception of their parents’ goals, values and expectations has a significantly moderate positive relationship with their perception of parental support (r=0.511, p<0.00001, r^{2}=0.261); and it has a significantly weak positive relationships with both their parents’ control (r=0.365, p<0.00001, r^{2}=0.133) and their mathematics selfefficacy (r=0.491, p<0.00001, r^{2}=0.241) since the p value is less than 0.05 level of significance. However, children’s perceptions of their parents’ goals, values and expectations has no significant relationship with their homework task persistence (r=0.043, p<0.3794, r^{2}=0.002). Thus, an increase in the children’s perception of their parents’ goals, values and expectations will increase their perception of their parents’ support; but it will not necessarily increase their perception of their parents’ control; neither will it increase their mathematics selfefficacy.
Children’s perception of their parents’ support has a significantly weak positive relationship with their homework task persistence (r=0.416, p<0.00001, r^{2}=0.173), their mathematics selfefficacy (r=0.272, p<0.00001, r^{2}=0.074), and their perception of their parents’ control (r=0.384, p<0.00001, r^{2}=0.147).
Also, children’s perception of their parents’ control has a negligible negative relationship with their mathematics selfefficacy (r=0.19, p<0.000089, r^{2}=0.036); but it has no significant relationship with their homework task persistence (r=0.051, p<0.29706, r^{2}=0.003) since the p value is greater than 0.05 level of significance. Thus, an increase (or decrease) in the children’s perception regarding their parents’ control will not change their mathematics selfefficacy; neither will it change their homework task persistence.
Furthermore, there is a significantly moderate positive relationship between children’s mathematics selfefficacy and their homework task persistence (r=0.526, p<0.00001, r^{2} = 0.277). Thus, an increase in the children’s selfefficacy will moderately increase their homework task persistence.
RQ3. Is there any difference in the involvement of single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers with homework on children’s performance in mathematics?
Table 6 revealed that children of double parents had the highest mean achievement score of 70.09 and the lowest standard deviation of 10.984 in mathematics; whilst children of single parents had the lowest mean achievement score of 61.33 and the highest standard deviation of 15.718 in mathematics. Thus, children of double parents are doing well in mathematics, but children of single parents are performing poorly in mathematics. Children of nonparent caregivers, on the other hand, had a mean score of 65.02 and a standard deviation of 13.061 in their mathematics achievement.
Table 6: Mathematics Performance Level by Parental Type
Parental Type  N  Mean  Standard Deviation  Min  Max 
Double parents  172  70.09  10.984  0  100 
Single parents  149  61.33  15.718  0  100 
Nonparent caregivers  99  65.02  13.061  0  100 
Total  420 
Table 7 showed that there is a significant difference in the mean scores of children of at least one pair of parent types in mathematics since the p value is less than the alpha (α) value [p=0.0000, α = 0.05 and F(2, 417) = 1720.63]. In order to identify the source of the difference in the children’s mean scores, the TukeyKramer post ad hoc HSD test was performed, as presented in Table 8. It revealed that there is a significant difference in the mean mathematics achievement scores between children of double parents and those of single parents; and between children of single parents and those of nonparent caregivers, since q(3, 417) = 3.314 (as read from Studentized q table) is less than the HSD values of 6.7402 and 3.9010 in the 1^{st} and 2^{nd} rows of Table 8, respectively, at α = 0.05 level of significance.
Table 7: One Way Anova for Measuring Group Differences Across Parental Type
Mathematics Achievement Level  
Parental Type  Sum of Squares  df  Mean Square  F  p value 
Between Groups  23140.231  2  11570.115  1720.631  .00000 
Within Groups  2804.051  417  6.7243436  
Total  25944.282  420 
Note: N = 420 α = 0.05 level of significance
Table 8 also showed that the absolute mean difference in the achievement scores between children of double parents and those of single parents is 8.76; while the absolute mean difference in the scores in mathematics between children of double parents and those of nonparent caregivers is 5.07. Thus, the significant difference in the mean scores of the children in mathematics is traceable to the high absolute mean score differences between the children of double parents and single parents; and between the children of double parents and nonparent caregivers.
Table 8: TukeyKramer HSD One Way Anova for Measuring Mathematics Across Parental Types
Parental Type (I)  Parental Type (J)  Absolute Mean Difference IJ  HSD (q_{calc}) Decision 
Double parents  Single parents  8.76  6.7402* Significant 
Nonparent caregivers  5.07  3.9010* Significant  
Single parents  Nonparent caregivers  3.69  2.8392 
*α=0.05 level of significance q(3, 417) = 3.314 from Studentized q table
The discussion of the findings is done in this section on the basis of the research questions.
RO1. What is the relationship between parental involvement with homework and pupils’ Mathematics performance (using the perceptions of pupils)?
This study examined the impact of the following five variables on pupils’ academic performance in mathematics: Parental goals, values and expectations (PGE), Parental support (PSU), Parental control (PCO), Mathematics selfefficacy (MSE), and Homework task persistence (HTP)
This study found a significantly moderate correlation between children’s performance in mathematics and their perception of their parents’ goals, values and expectations. This means that an increase in the children’s perception of their parents’ goals, values and expectations will moderately increase their academic performance in mathematics. This implies that if parents want their children to perform well in mathematics, they should constantly and openly communicate their goals, values and expectations to their children regarding the children’s education and future career prospects. This result is consistent with those of [3], [38], and [49][53].
Similarly, this study found that there is a significantly moderate positive correlation between children’s performance in mathematics and their perceptions of their parents’ support. This implies that the more support (such as homework support and provision of school and other ancillary materials) that parents provide to their children, the more their children’s performance in mathematics will increase. Thus, parental support is an important stimulus for children’s academic performance in mathematics; so, parents need to provide support for their children’s education to increase their achievement in mathematics. This result is consistent with those of [48][53], [72], and [73].
Furthermore, this study found a significantly weak negative correlation between children’s performance in mathematics and their perception of their parents’ control. This implies that an increase in children’s perception of their parents’ control regarding their educational activities will decrease their performance in mathematics slightly. This result complements those of [30], [32], [47] and [60]. In contrast, [74] in their study found a positive relationship between parental control and children’s performance in mathematics; while [75] found no relationship between these two variables.
Comparing the effect sizes of the three parental involvement variables discussed above, that of parental goals, values and expectations is the largest; and thus had the largest impact on children’s performance in mathematics. This result corroborated that of [1] which found parental expectations as the strongest parental involvement factor influencing children’s academic performance. Thus, the importance of parental goals, values and expectations as stimulus for children’s performance in mathematics cannot be overstated.
Also, this study revealed that there is a significantly positive but negligible relationship between children’s performance in mathematics and their mathematics selfefficacy; so, one cannot make a strong claim about this relationship. Thus, children’s belief in their mathematical ability and capability (mathematics selfefficacy) had a negligible effect on their performance in mathematics. This result is consistent with those of [57], [58], [59], and [76].
In addition, this study showed that there is a significantly weak negative relationship between children’s performance in mathematics and their homework task persistence. Thus, the higher the children’s homework task persistence, the lower their level of performance in mathematics. Children exert much effort in doing mathematics homework if they do not understand the concept(s) on which the assignments are based, if they consider the questions to be difficult, and if the questions are very many.
RO2. Are there any interrelationships among parental involvement variables and children’s performance variables?
This study found the following relationships among the five independent variables examined:
RO3. Is there any difference in the involvement of single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers with homework on children’s Mathematics performance?
This study revealed that children of double parents had the highest mean score in mathematics while children of single parents had the lowest mean score. Thus, children of double parents were doing well in mathematics, but children of single parents were performing poorly in mathematics. It also showed that there is a significant difference in the mean scores of children of at least one pair of parent types in mathematics. In addition, it revealed that there is a significant difference in the mean achievement scores in mathematics between children of double parents and those of single parents; and between children of double parents and those of nonparent caregivers. Thus, the significant difference in the mean scores of the children in mathematics is traceable to the high absolute mean score differences between the children of double parents and single parents; and between the children of double parents and nonparent caregivers. This study, therefore, adds an analysis of parenting types (viz: double parents, single parents and nonparent caregivers) to the existing literature on the impact of parents’ involvement with homework on children’s academic performance in mathematics.
This study sought to determine three things: the impact of parents’ involvement with homework on children’s academic performance in mathematics, the interrelationships among the five independent variables used for this study, and the differences in the impact of involvement of single parents, double parents and nonparent caregivers on children’s performance in mathematics. It revealed that children’s performance in mathematics has a significantly positive relationship with parental goals, values and expectations (PGE), parental support (PSU) and children’s mathematics selfefficacy (MSE); and a significantly negative relationship with parental control (PCO) and homework task persistence (HTP). Also, parental goals, values and expectations (PGE) has the strongest impact on children’s performance in mathematics, followed by parental support (PSU) and parental control (PCO). This result, therefore, calls for parental prudence and selfcircumspection in order to create a congenial environment at home for children to have some form of autonomy regarding their studies and homework task performance; and this will, in turn, foster the children’s academic performance in mathematics.
This study also showed that parental goals, values and expectations (PGE) has a significantly moderate relationship with both parental support (PSU) and children’s mathematics selfefficacy (MSE). Furthermore, this study revealed that the significant difference in the mean scores of the children in mathematics is traceable to the high absolute mean score differences between the children of double parents and single parents; and between children of double parents and nonparent caregivers.
This study used five clusters of public basic schools in Accra, Ghana; and the results may not be truly representative of the population. Therefore, future research may consider using a sample that covers a wider geographical area. Also, future researchers may consider focusing on some other salient parental involvement variables as well as other studentrelated variables as predictors of children’s academic performance in mathematics and other STEM courses (namely: science, technology, and engineering). Furthermore, parents should endeavour to provide a congenial environment at home for their children to engage in schoolrelated activities (including homework and studying) to enhance their academic performance in mathematics.
I am grateful to Evans Kudzo Morve for editing the manuscript for this study.
Sign up for our newsletter, to get updates regarding the Call for Paper, Papers & Research.
Sign up for our newsletter, to get updates regarding the Call for Paper, Papers & Research.