The associations of maternal/paternal modeling, self-efficacy, and ethnic fit on math/science achievement among Latinx students

Melissa Y. Delgado, Lorey A. Wheeler, Norma Perez-Brena, Rajni L. Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: This paper examined individual, family, and peer roles in promoting Latinx youths’ math and science performance. The role of maternal/paternal modeling in education was examined as shaping academic self-efficacy and, in turn, math/science grades among a population considered at risk of low academic achievement. Moreover, the study tested the moderating roles of class ethnic fit (i.e., feelings of fit based on having same-ethnic peers in class) and gender. Method: Cross-sectional data came from a southwestern U.S. sample of Latinx adolescents (N = 329; 54% female, Mage = 13.69 years, SD = 0.56) who reported on maternal/paternal educational modeling, academic self-efficacy, math/science grades, class ethnic fit, and gender. Results: Adolescents' perceptions of maternal modeling, but not paternal, related to higher levels of academic self-efficacy which, in turn, related to higher math/science performance. Moderation results revealed: (a) for adolescents who perceived low science class ethnic fit, high levels of parental modeling related to higher levels of academic self-efficacy which, in turn, were related to higher science grades, and (b) maternal modeling positively related to girls', but not boys', academic self-efficacy and paternal modeling positively related to girls', but not boys’, math/science performance. Conclusions: These results suggest maternal modeling is a promotive factor, supporting Latinx youths’ academic self-efficacy which, in turn, related to math/science grades. Additionally, a negative direct relation between maternal modeling and science grades suggests maternal modeling generally support academic self-efficacy, but not necessarily science attainment. These associations are nuanced as they are informed by context and parent-child gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-257
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume92
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Academic self-efficacy
  • Latino/Latinx students
  • Maternal/paternal/parental modeling
  • Math/science performance
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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