A cross-cultural study: Linkages among intelligence, psychosocial maturity, parenting practices, and academic achievement of adolescents

Youngjoo Oh-Hwang, Purdue University


This study examined multigroup differences in parenting practices, psychosocial maturity, and academic achievement for two cultures, two sexes, and three intellectual ability levels. A structural equation modeling approach (LISREL) was also used to build an academic achievement model to examine the effects of parent and student characteristics among American and Korean adolescents. Possible implications for improving achievement and reducing underachievement were also addressed. A total of 715 students, 382 Korean and 333 American (ages 14-18), completed a questionnaire assessing their perceptions of parenting in their family and their psychosocial maturity. Intelligence was measured using the Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices. Academic performance was measured using the Indiana State-wide Test of Educational Progress (ISTEP) and Nation-wide Standardized Achievement Test (NSAT) for the American and Korean samples, respectively. The results of the MANOVA analyses indicated that there were multigroup differences in parenting practices, psychosocial maturity, and achievement as functions of various factors. American parents were more involved and granted greater psychological autonomy to their children than Korean parents, and Korean parents controlled children's behavior more than American parents. Girls were controlled more than boys in both cultures. American students reported higher levels of psychosocial maturity than Korean students. Girls reported higher levels of work-orientation than boys, and high ability students displayed greater work-orientation and self-reliance than low ability students. High levels of academic achievement were shown by the students with higher intellectual ability, greater psychosocial maturity, and more authoritative parents. Korean boys were higher achievers than Korean girls. The results of the LISREL analysis indicated that (a) children of higher intellectual ability and whose fathers are more highly educated set higher educational goals, (b) children's higher educational goals influence parents to become more involved and grant more psychological autonomy to their children, (c) better parenting practices foster the development of greater psychosocial maturity in children, and (d) greater psychosocial maturity leads to high levels of academic achievement.




Feldhusen, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Secondary education

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