Parents’ Learning Support and School Attitudes In Relation to Adolescent Academic Identity and School Performance in Nine Countries

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An important question for parents and educators alike is how to promote adolescents’ academic identity and school performance. This study investigated relations among parental education, parents’ attitudes toward their adolescents’ school, parental support for learning at home, and adolescents’ academic identity and school performance over time and in different national contexts. Longitudinal data were collected from adolescents and their parents in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States). When adolescents were 16 years old, their mothers (N = 1083) and fathers (N = 859) provided data. When adolescents were 17 years old, 1049 adolescents (50% girls) and their mothers (N = 1001) and fathers (N = 749) provided data. Multiple-group path analyses indicated that, across cultures, higher parent education was associated with better adolescent school performance. Parents’ attitudes toward their adolescents’ school and parent support for learning in the home were not associated with adolescents’ school performance but were associated with academic identity. The findings suggest somewhat different pathways to school performance versus academic identity. Implications for helping parents and educators in different countries promote adolescents’ academic identity and achievement are discussed.