Sittipan Yotyodying Research School “Education and Capabilities” Bielefeld University, Germany
The role of parental socialization in facilitating self-determination of learning motivation and psychological well-being in school-age children Rationale of the research study
Self-determination theory (SDT) is an approach to human motivation and personality developed by
Ryan & Deci (1985, 1991). Proponents of SDT propose that to be self-determined is to endorse
one’s actions at the highest level of reflection. When people are self-determined, they experience a
sense of freedom to do what is interesting, personal y important, and vitalizing. Social-contextual
contexts, particularly, the process of socialization, may facilitate individual’s self-determination and
healthy psychological development by satisfying three basic psychological needs- autonomy,
competence, and social-relatedness. The process of socialization is not only necessary for
effective internalization of societal attitudes, values, and regulatory process but also for
psychological growth, healthy development, integrity, and in turn, psychological well-being.
Applying self-determination theory (SDT) to a research issue in parental socialization, the research
framework focuses on the role of parental socialization in facilitating children’s self-determination of
learning motivation and psychological wel -being in a learning context. In this research, parental
socialization is concerned parents’ supportive styles (autonomous-emotional vs. control-pressure)
used when getting involved in children’s home learning situations (e.g. homework supervisor).
Regarding previous SDT research, parents are significantly assumed to be effective socializing
agents, who may facilitate (autonomous-emotional supportive parents) or undermine (control-
pressure supportive parents) children’s self-determination of learning motivation (intrinsic,
identified, and external motivation) and psychological wel -being in a learning context (positive
affect experienced in home learning situations, learning satisfaction, self-actualization).
Nevertheless, parents may differ in their supportive styles due to some antecedents, for instance,
parents’ positive beliefs of the role construction and sense of efficacy, parents’ perceived invitations
from children and teachers to get involved in home learning situations, and parents’ resources of
knowledge and time (e.g. Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995, 1997, 2005). In addition, some
previous research revealed that parents from different social classes may differ in their supportive
styles (e.g. Steinberg, 2001). Therefore, these antecedents may hypothetically reduce parents’
readiness to become autonomous supportive on one hand and increase the likelihood of control-
pressure supportive parents on the other hand. However, the concepts of antecedents of parents’
supportive styles have been negligently combined to the SDT perspective on socialization.
Regarding the rationale of the research study, the main purposes of this research aim 1) to develop
the theoretical model of antecedents and effects of parents’ supportive styles used in home
learning situations and 2) to validate whether the theoretical model fits the empirical data.
School age-children in 5th-6th Grade and their parents wil be randomly sampled using multi-stage
sampling design. There are two versions of research instruments: one for children and one for their
parents. Each version consists of demographic questionnaire and scales (5 point-Likert type). Data
col ection will start at the beginning of year 2010. Descriptive statistics, crosstab analysis,
correlation analysis, MANOVA with SPSS for Windows 17.0, wil be employed in order to analyze
descriptive data and compare means of research variables. The theoretical model wil be validated
with the empirical data using structural equation modeling (SEM) with LISREL 8.53.
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