The Impact of Parenting Styles on Academic Achievement, Anxiety, Self-Concept, and Locus of Control


Kristen Kienholz
Mentor: Dr. Laird Edman
Department of Psychology

Parenting styles were examined in terms of their relationship to a college student's academic achievement (GPA), self-concept, anxiety, and internal locus of control. While students have varying levels of anxiety, self-concept, and locus of control (internal, external, or a mixture of both), the parenting style of one's parents has an impact on these constructs. Participants were 57 undergraduate students (males=7, females=50) at a small, private Midwestern faith-based college. Participants completed Beck's Anxiety Inventory, Rotter's Locus of Control Measure, The Parenting Style Questionnaire, Rosenberg's Self-Esteem Scale, and participants also gave consent for the registrar to supply GPA information to the researcher. The results indicated internal locus of control is predictive of strong self-concept, and less anxiety; and authoritative mothers foster less anxiety and stronger self-concept in their children. Furthermore, parenting styles are related to anxiety, locus of control, and self-concept. No significant relationships were found between authoritative parenting style and GPA and no differences were found between authoritarian and permissive parenting style as related to GPA, locus of control, anxiety, and self-concept. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed in this project, as well as suggestions for future research.