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ERIC Number: ED455968
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-May
Pages: 87
Abstractor: N/A
How Parents Explain Academic Failure.
Conti, Michael
This study examined the factors to which parents attribute their children's academic failure. Participating in the research were 13 parents, all living in Malta. About half of the parents' 41 children (ranging in age from 6 to 17 years) had experienced failure in school examinations. Almost all the parents were from a low socioeconomic background. The study drew on Weiner's attribution theory and Bourdieu's cultural capital theory--with its concepts of symbolic violence, cultural capital, habitus, and social and cultural reproduction--to explain why parents attributed failure to such factors. Based on grounded theory, the study used semi-structured, focused interviews to collect data. Findings indicated that parents' internal attributions consisted of: (1) pupil actions such as untidy handwriting and truancy; and (2) internal characteristics, mostly demotivation, lack of ability, the child's character, and a low self-esteem. External attributions were comprised of: (1) the parents themselves, including unfavorable home conditions and parental attitudes of lack of encouragement; (2) the teachers, including their personal problems, their attitudes of lack of acceptance, lack of care, and lack of encouragement, and their actions toward pupils and parents, such as hitting and insulting pupils and lack of parent-teacher collaboration; (3) the educational system, both at a school level through the quest for prestige, lack of discipline, and the headteacher's lack of acceptance, and on the national level through examinations, streaming, increase in syllabus content, pupil-to-teacher ratio, and the lack of help by the Department of Education; and (4) other external factors, such as bullying, other parents' interference, the town culture, and luck. (Contains 64 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malta