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Citation:Shumow, L., & Lomax, R. (2001). Parental efficacy: Predictor of parenting behavior and adolescent outcomes. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA.

This study investigates the relationships between parent efficacy, socioeconomic status, neighborhood qualities, parenting behavior, parent involvement, and student outcomes (grades, academic level, and behavior problems at school). The findings support the theory that parent efficacy is associated with parent involvement and adolescent outcomes. Socioeconomic study and neighborhood quality contributed to parent efficacy; parent efficacy was related to parent involvement and parent monitoring of adolescents; and parent efficacy also was related to parent/adolescent communication, though results varied by ethnicity. Researchers utilized data from the National Commission on Children Report (1994), a stratified national random telephone sample and selected 1,739 parents for this study. Parental efficacy was defined as believing that they were successful in (a) positively influencing adolescentsÕ academic and social emotional development; (b) overcoming negative peer influences; and (c) positively impacting schools and other community agencies for youth. The use of multiple measures for efficacy allowed for assessment of reliability and validity. Findings suggested that a goal of parent programs might be to bolster parentsÕ sense of efficacy. Differences due to ethnicity should be further investigated. It is important to consider that telephone samples can be biased, and a direct cause-effect relationship cannot be established.

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