Volume 8

The Effects of Perceived Parental Involvement and Sibling Status on Achievement and Self-Esteem

Tammy McGee and Mary Lou Sheehan

The purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of the relationship among academic self-esteem, achievement motivation, and sibling status. College students, 89 women and 31 men, from a New England college, completed a survey assessing demographic information, birth order and perceived parental support. In addition, the students were randomly assigned to read one of four scenario conditions that depicted a child either as an only child or as having siblings and receiving either high or low parental attention. Results indicated that sibling status does affect perception of a child’s self-esteem for only children. In addition, only children were perceived to experience higher parental expectations. However, academic achievement outcomes were not related to sibling status or parental involvement. The value of parental support in relation to levels of achievement is discussed.

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