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Academic Achievement

Family Influences, Family Background And Family Structure, International Research, Future Family Research

It is generally accepted that the quality of family interactions has important associations with children's and adolescents' academic motivation and achievement, and with young adults' eventual educational and occupational attainments. Thomas Kellaghan and his colleagues (1993) claim, for example, that the family environment is the most powerful influence in determining students' school achievement, academic motivation, and the number of years of schooling they will receive. Similarly, James S. Coleman (1991) states that parents' involvement in learning activities has substantial emotional and intellectual benefits for children. He observes, however, that because supportive and strong families are significant for school success, teachers confront increasing challenges as many children experience severe family disruption and upheaval. Although it is acknowledged that families are perhaps the most substantial influence on children's school success, it is not always clear which family influences are the most important. In addition, research findings are inconclusive about the extent to which relationships between family interactions and academic performance are independent of a child's family background and family structure.

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