Parental behavioural control and academic achievement: Striking the balance between control and involvement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using a longitudinal US dataset (N = 6,134) we examine the relationship between parental behavioural control and academic achievement and explore the moderating role of parental involvement and parental warmth. Analyses using multiple hierarchical regression with clustering controls shows that parental behavioural control is negatively associated with academic achievement while parental involvement is positively associated with academic achievement. Furthermore, father parental involvement is a significant moderator of the relationship between parental behavioural control and adolescents' academic achievement. Specifically, we find differences in the moderating effect of parental involvement between father and mothers: adolescents have greater academic achievement when fathers, but not mothers, have low levels of parental control and high levels parental involvement. We conclude that parents need to strike a delicate balance between giving more behavioural autonomy to their children, especially as they get older, while still maintaining high levels of parental involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Academic achievement
  • Adolescents
  • Parental behavioural control
  • Parental involvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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