University student's perceptions of parental support, and its effect on their academic achievement.
Zuma, Thandiwe Hlengiwe.
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Academic achievement among university students can be influenced by many factors, both academic and family related. With the use of qualitative research, the present study explored university students' perceptions of parental support and involvement, and its effects on academic performance and achievement. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather student's perceptions of parental support. Further, a qualitative content analysis was used to analyse data. An Ecological model recognizing multiple influences that are inherent in the environment by Bronferbrenner (1994) was adopted as the study's theoretical framework. Major themes that emerged from the content analysis are parent's level of education, parent's child relations, socioeconomic status, and academic self-efficacy, Emerging adulthood, Ethnicity, and parental support, Community and Parents' values of education. Findings suggest that parental support continues to have a significant influence on academic performance among university students. Perceived parental involvement had no direct influence on academic performance, whilst parental support was found to promote academic self-efficacy and perseverance among students, further assisting students with coping during difficult times. The study findings show an interlink between parents’ socioeconomic status and level of education to affect the amount to which parents can support and become involved in students’ academic lives. Therefore, this study recommends future research focus on useful approaches that can aid institutions in providing supportive systems in working with families, where possible to assist undergraduate university students in achieving academic excellence, particularly those coming from low socioeconomic backgrounds.