The Role of Family and Peers

Week 12: April 9 – 15

  • Sunday, 4/12, 11:59 PM: (1) Base Group Check-in, (2) Initial responses to discussion questions

  • Wednesday, 4/15, 11:59 PM: (3) Base Group Check-out, (4) TWO secondary responses to any of your classmates’ posts.

Check-in Question: Who has had more influence on your motivation, your family or peers?

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  1. Grolnick et al. (2009) provide a broad overview of the way parents influence children’s motivation at school. On page 290, they also discuss the way different types of involvement (e.g., at home, at school, outside of school) affect motivation differently for different cultural groups (e.g., Asian American, African American, European American, high vs. low SES). What do you make of these differences? That is, how can it be that one kind of parental involvement can have different effects on different cultural groups? In addition, what school factors may encourage some parents to be involved while discouraging others, and how might this affect students’ motivation?

  2. Ryan (2000) argues that peer groups also socialize adolescents’ motivation, and Jones et al. (2011) provide some empirical support for this proposition. However, the Jones et al. (2011) study is limited in important ways. For example, it focused only on friends and does not account for other peer relations (e.g., acquaintances, enemies, status, groups, etc.). The study also only examined a single time point and only utilized students’ self-report data. Given these limitations, what do you see as the significance of Jones et al.’s (2011) study and the extent to which it supports Ryan’s (2000) focus on the peer group?

  3. Fredricks and Eccles (2002) examine growth trajectories in boys’ and girls’ competence and value beliefs. So doing, they not only document developmental change but also show evidence of gender differences and the potential role of parents’ beliefs about their children’s abilities in traditionally male-sex-typed domains (math, sports). As expected, results showed declines in children’s perceptions of competence and value beliefs. Unexpectedly, the results did not show evidence of increased gender differences over time, which supports egalitarian socialization theories. In your view, what is the significance of this study for theory, research, and practice? Is this an important study? Why or why not?
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