Investigation the relationship between goal orientation and

 Vol. 9(11), pp. 320-325, 10 June, 2014
DOI: 10.5897/ERR2014.1789
ISSN 1990-3839
Copyright © 2014
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
http://www.academicjournals.org/ERR
Educational Research and Reviews
Full Length Research Paper
Investigation the relationship between goal orientation
and parenting styles among sample of Jordanian
university students
Ahmad M. Mahasneh
Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education Sciences, Hashemite University, Jordan.
Received 21 March, 2014; Accepted 12 May, 2014
The primary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between goal orientation and parenting
styles. Participants of the study completed 650 goal orientation and parenting styles questionnaires.
Means, standard deviations, regression and correlation analysis were used for data in establishing the
dependence of the two variables. Results indicate that there is a significant positive correlation
between learning goal orientation and authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles.
Performance-prove orientation is positively related to authoritative, authoritarian and permissive
parenting styles. And performance- avoid orientation is positively related to authoritative, authoritarian
and permissive parenting styles.
Key words: Goal orientation, parenting styles, university students.
INTRODUCTION
Family members, especially parents have a role to play in
the formation of their children's character. Parenting style
is defined as a child's perceptions of his or her parents’ or
caretakers’ behaviors in two dimensions: (1) parental
demands. (2) Parental responsiveness (Baumrind, 1989).
Parenting styles have been defined in different ways by
different researchers. Authoritarian, authoritative and
permissive types of parenting styles have been defined
by Baumrind (1967).
Authoritarian parenting style
Parents with authoritarian parenting style are highly
demanding and caring. Authoritarian style is a pattern of
power- assertive behaviors of the parents. Authoritarian
parenting tends to fall at other end of the continuum.
Parents characterized as authoritarian exhibit highly
directive behaviors, high levels of restriction and rejection
behaviors, and power-asserting behaviors. They have
good child-parent communication. According to Gleitman
et al. (2007), authoritative parents set rules of conduct for
their children and enforce them, assign tedious tasks and
accept mature behavior. Baumrind (1967) concluded that
authoritative parents are sensitive to their children’s
needs; they do not use punitive discipline and reasons
with the child in a loving and affectionate manner. They
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Mahasneh
encourage independence and take care of children’s
point of view. These parents put less restriction on their
own children when they become mature.
Authoritative parenting style
Authoritative parenting is characterized by high levels of
nurturance, involvement, sensitivity, reasoning, and encouragement of autonomy. Parents who direct the
activities and decisions for their children through reasoning and discipline would be described as authoritative.
Parents possessing this style set strict standards for
children about how they should and should not speak and
act. They do not allow children to talk on the rules set by
them. They think the children should obey them without
asking any question because it is their order. These
parents have low acceptance and high control. These
parents are demanding and unresponsive. They use
punitive and harsh punishment for the wrong doings of
their children. Therefore, children's with authoritative
parents tend to have good behaviors such as friendliness
and cooperation (Lambon et al., 1991; Slicker, 1998).
Permissive parenting style
Permissive parenting style is characterized by making
few demands, exhibiting non-controlling behaviors, and
using minimal punishment. Permissive parents set some
specific do’s and don'ts for their children. They do not
assert their authority on children. They do not set
restrictions or schedule of activities for children. They
rarely punish for any action. They make few demands.
Baumrind (1967) reported permissive parents have low
self-control and self-reliance. The children of these
parents are described as anxious, immature (Karen,
1998) and show little initiative.
Goal orientation
Goal orientation is a concept of how individuals interpret
and respond to position of achievement; it provides
individual reasons and goals that are integrated in the
achievement tasks (Ames, 1992). Pintrich and Schunk
(1996) suggest that achievement goal theory is
developed by scientists of developmental psychology and
educational psychology to explain how children are
learning in academic tasks. Achievement goal is defined
as "integrated pattern of beliefs, attributions and effect
that produce intentions of behavior; it is represented by
different ways of approaching, engaging in, and responding to achievement-type activities" (Ames, 1992). The
students use two contrasting achievement goals: performance and learning (Ames, 1992; Dweck, 1986; Dweck
and Leggett, 1988; Ames and Archer, 1988; Archer,
1994; Elliott and Dweck, 1988). Achievement goals have
four-factor model of goal orientation. The four factors are
formed along two primary dimensions: (a) definition
321
of competence (mastery/performance) and (b) valence of
competence (approach/avoid) (Elliot and McGregor,
2001).
The students respond to difficult situations with one of
three goal orientation:
(1) Mastery orientation: students possessing a mastery
goal orientation focus on the task rather than ability; they
have a positive mind to engage in the activity and
produce solution-oriented strategies which lead to
improvement of their ability (Dweck and leggett, 1988).
Students who have a mastery goal orientation seem to be
more willing to pursue challenging tasks and they have a
positive attitude towards the learning situation and exhibit
an adaptive attributional pattern (Ames and Archer, 1988;
Dweck, 1988). When students pursue mastery goals they
want to develop competence by acquiring new skills and
knowledge. They value and are willing to undertake
activities that allow them to improve their knowledge and
they perceive effort as a positive and effective way to
achieve their goals; they see mistakes as a normal step
in the learning process (Bouffard and Couture, 2003).
Mastery goal orientation has been linked with a number
of positive outcomes such as superior academic achievement (Albaili, 1998; Tanaka and Ysmauchi, 2001), deep
processing strategies (Albaili, 1998; Ames and Archer,
1988), preference for challenging tasks (Ames and Archer,
1988; Turner et al., 1998), attribution of success to effort
(Ames and Archer, 1988), academic self-efficacy (Roeser
et al., 1996), intrinsic interest in learning (Meece et al.,
1988) and adaptive self-seeking behavior (Newman,
1998).
(2) Helpless orientation: students possessing a helpless
goal orientation focus on their personal inadequacies,
attribute their failure of performance to their lack of ability
and they have a negative mind to engage in an activity
(Dweck and leggett, 1988).
(3) Performance orientation: students possessing performance orientation focus on their ability rather than the
task and they concern about outcomes rather than
improving their ability through the learning process
(Dweck and Leggett, 1988). Students who have a performance goal orientation focus on performing a task for the
purpose of demonstrating ability in comparison to others.
The major focus would be to outperform or out-do others
and they spend a great deal of time learning and trying to
understand physics because they want to get an
outstanding grade or outperform others their physics class
(Dweck, 1986; Dweck and Elliot, 1983; Dweck and
Leggett, 1988; Elliot and Dweck, 1988; Lepper, 1988).
The relationship between parenting styles and goal
orientation
Parenting style is an important variable which influences
322
Educ. Res. Rev.
achievement goal orientation of students (Gonzalwz et
al., 2001; Akin, 2006). For example, several researchers
found that authoritarian, authoritarianism and permissive
parenting styles are correlated with achievement goal
orientation (Steinberg et al., 1989, 1994; Lamborn et al.,
1991).
There are survey studies on the relationship between
parenting styles and students achievement goal orientation. Duda and Hom (1993) found that Children's goal
orientation was significantly related to their views
concerning the goal orientation adopted by their parents.
Wen Hsu (2001) found that authoritarianism is associated
with performance goal orientation. Gonzalwz et al. (2001)
found that maternal authoritativeness was significantly
related to mastery goal orientation of students. Gonzalwz
et al. (2002) found that maternal authoritativeness is
associated with mastery goal orientation, and maternal
authoritarianism and permissiveness are related to
performance goal orientation. Gonzalez et al. (2005)
found that there is a significant relationship between
parental involvement and mastery goal orientation. Rivers
(2006) found no significant correlations between parenting styles (responsiveness and demand) and goal orientation (mastery, performance-approach and performanceavoidances). Read (2010) found that supportive mothers
influence their daughter's mastery goal orientation, which
influences their academic success. Lerdpornkulrat et al.
(2012) found that students who perceived their parents
as empathic were more likely to have adopted mastery
goals and empathic parenting had a particularly positive
influence on females’ career aspirations. Students who
perceived that their parents have “domineering views”
were more likely to have adopted performance avoidance
goals. Students who perceived that their parents are “the
regulators of family rules” were more likely to have
adopted both mastery and performance goals.
Statement of the problem
There are a lot of variables which influence achievement
goal orientations of students. One of these variables is
parenting styles (Akin, 2006; Gonzalez et al., 2001).
Therefore, it is educationally meaningful and necessary
to test the generalized ability of the relationship between
parenting styles and goal orientation among adolescents.
Thus, in this study we examined the relationship between
goal orientation and parenting styles among the students
at Hashemite University.
Study purpose and questions
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship
between goal orientation and parenting styles among the
students at Hashemite University in Jordan.
The specific study questions that guided this study were:
RQ1. What different goal orientations do students have?
RQ2. Is there a significant relationship between students’
goal orientation and their parenting styles?.
Significance of the study
The purpose of the study is to determine the relationships
between goal orientation and parenting styles.
In addition, this study is very important for many
reasons:(1) The study will provide other researchers with
insight on significant gaps in the literature concerning
predictors of achievement outcomes, especially regarding
the relationship between goal orientation and parenting
style. (2) The study will benefit teachers in helping them
to understand the importance of goal orientation as this
factor relates to engaging students in academic tasks. (3)
The study will aid parents in allowing them to realize the
influences of the parenting environment and parenting
styles as a contextual element in shaping achievement
outcome.(4) This is the first study in Arab country which
examines the relationship between goal orientation and
parenting styles.
METHOD
Participants
The sample of this study consisted of 650 undergraduate students
who were enrolled in the faculties of Hashemite University in the
academic year 2013/2014. Of these participants, 295 were males
(45%) and 355 were females (55%). The participants were primarily
grade 1 (n=165, 25%), grade 2 (n=210, 32% ), grade 3 (n= 130,
20% ) and grade 4 (n= 145, 23% ), who represent all levels of study
at (HU). Participants’ age ranged from 18 to 22 years.
Instruments
Participants completed measures of goal orientation and parenting
styles questionnaire. Each is described as follows.
Goal Orientation Questionnaire (GOQ)
Goal orientation was measured with a scale adapted from Walle
(1997). The wording of Vande Walle’s work-specific scale was
slightly modified in order to measure general goal orientation. The
13-item measure contains 3 subscales: (a) 4 items assessing
performance-prove goal orientation, (b) 4 items assessing
performance-avoid goal orientation, and (c) 5 items assessing
learning goal orientation. Participants respond to each item on a 6point Likert-type scale (1=strongly agree; 6=strongly disagree).
Internal consistency estimates were .84 for the learning goal
orientation scale, .78 for the performance-prove scale and .80 for
the performance-avoid scale.
In this study, the reliability coefficient was calculated using test–
retest and was found to be 0.83, 0.80, and 0.81 for challenge,
independent learning goal orientation and performance-prove
orientation and performance-avoid orientation subscales, respectively. In this study, to clarify the validity of the instrument, the
researcher translated the items into Arabic language and then a
specialist in educational psychology was asked to translate the
Arabic items into English language to ensure acceptable validity
Mahasneh
Table 1. Mean and standard deviations of students' goal
orientation.
Goal orientation
Learning goal orientation
Performance-prove orientation
Performance-avoid orientation
Mean
3.73
3.12
3.09
SD
0.70
0.65
0.61
indices and validated translation. The items were then given to
another specialist who is proficient in both languages to compare
the Arabic translation with the original.
323
their parenting styles?
To answer this question, the correlation coefficients between goal orientation and parenting styles are presented
in Table 2.
Table 2 shows that learning goal orientation is positively related to authoritative, authoritarian and permissive
parenting styles (p=0.01). The performance- prove
orientation is positively related to the authoritative,
authoritarian and permissive parenting styles (p=0.01).
And the performance- avoid orientation is positively
related to the authoritative, authoritarian and permissive
parenting styles (p=0.01, 0.05).
Parental authority questionnaire (PAQ)
The Parental Authority Questionnaire by Buri (1991) was designed
to determine the parents’ disciplinary practices perceived by their
adult children. The PAQ has three subscales which are permissive,
authoritarian and authoritative. The PAQ has good construct validity
and an internal consistency of .74 to .87 for the subscales. Testretest reliabilities of the PAQ range from .77 to .92. A high score on
the respective subscale indicates the parent’s disposition towards
that particular style of parenting. For example, a high score in
authoritarian parenting indicates parents who use harsh disciplining
for their children.
Multiple regression analysis
RESULTS
Table 3 shows the results of multiple regression analysis
using parenting styles as predicted in goal orientation.
Results given in Table 3 show that the authoritative,
authoritarian and permissive parenting styles is a
significant predictor of learning goal orientation (R²=
0.038, F= 8.490, p=0.05). This result was supported by
the close moderate correlation between the third variable
(r= 0.195). Approximately 3.8% of the variance of the
student's learning goal orientation was accounted for by
parenting styles. Authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles are a significant predictor of
performance-prove orientation (R²= 0.191, F= 50.940,
p=0.05). This result was supported by the close moderate
correlation between the third variable (r= 0.437).
Approximately 19.1% of the variance of the students’
performance-prove orientation was accounted for by
parenting styles. Authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting styles are a significant predictor of
performance-avoid orientation (R²= 0.250, F= 71.219,
p=0.05). This result was supported by the close moderate
correlation between the third variable (r= 0.500). Approximately 25% of the variance of the students’ performanceavoid orientation was accounted for by parenting styles.
To facilitate the understanding of the results of this study,
questions of this study are divided into two.
DISCUSSION
Procedures
The instruments were administered to the participants in their
regular classrooms by the researcher. The researcher explained to
the participants the purpose and the importance of their
participation in this study. In addition, the researcher assured the
participants of the confidentiality of their response and that their
response would be used only for research purposes.
Then, the question booklets were distributed and instructions
were given to the participants on how to answer them. The
participants' responses were scored by the researcher and were
entered into the computer for statistical analysis. The data were
analyzed using the SPSS(V:17) package.
Results related to study question (1): What different goal
orientations do students have?
To answer this question, the students’ means and
standard deviations are calculated and reported in Table
1.
Table 1 shows that the scores obtained from all subscales of the goal orientation inventory indicate a positive
situation. The sub-scales represent higher level of
learning goal orientation (M=3.73), performance- prove
orientation (M= 3.12) and performance- avoid orientation
(3.09).
Results related to study question (2): Is there a significant relationship between students’ goal orientation and
Parenting characteristics such as supportiveness and
warmth continue to play an important role in influencing a
student's goal orientation even after entering college and
parenting styles may indeed be mediated by individual
factors that strengthen or contribute to its explanation of
student's goal orientation. The primary purpose of this
study was to examine the relationship between goal
orientation and parenting styles of university students in
the faculties at Hashemite University in Jordan. A sample
of 650 students participated in the study by responding to
the goal orientation questionnaire and parenting styles
questionnaire. As indicated in the results section the
learning goal orientation is positively related to the
authoritative, authoritarian and permissive parenting
324
Educ. Res. Rev.
Table 2. Correlation between goal orientation and parenting styles.
Goal orientation
Learning goal orientation
Performance-prove orientation
Performance-avoid orientation
Parenting styles
Authoritative Authoritarian Permissive
.15*
.08*
.15*
.42*
.12*
.17*
.49*
.09**
.09**
*(p<0.01); **(p<0.05).
Table 3. Results of regression analysis predicting scores of parenting styles of goal orientation.
Goal orientation
Learning goal orientation
Parenting styles
Authoritative
Authoritarian
Permissive
R
R²
F
.195
.038
8.490
β
.115
.064
.108
T
2.854
1.562
2.690
Performance-prove
orientation
Authoritative
Authoritarian
Permissive
.437
.191
50.940
.404
.095
.050
10.934
2.683
1.357
Performance-avoid
orientation
Authoritative
Authoritarian
Permissive
.500
.250
71.219
.506
.068
-.058
14.141
1.972
-1.627
styles. The performance-prove orientation is positively
related to the authoritative, authoritarian and permissive
parenting styles. And the performance- avoid orientation
is positively related to the authoritative, authoritarian
and permissive parenting styles. This result means that
parenting styles are important factor to consider when
examining goal orientation for university students.
Students are heavily influenced by their parents’
attitudes, personality and behavior; they tend to adopt a
performance avoidance orientation or performance in
order to avoid feelings of ferocity of "dumbness".
The results of the present study demonstrate that
parental styles influence plays an important role in
university students' goal orientation. University students
venture out on their own; previous experiences with their
parents seem to continue to affect their success in
college.
The results of this study and other researches of
Steinberg et al. (1989), Lamborn et al. (1991), Steinberg
et al. (1994), Duda and Hom (1993), Wen Hsu (2001),
Gonzalwz et al. (2001), Gonzalwz et al. (2002); Gonzalez
et al. (2005), Read (2010) and Lerdpornkulrat (2012)
show that authoritarian, authoritarianism and permissive
parenting styles are correlated with achievement goal
orientation.
From the theoretical standpoint, the authoritarian
parenthood advances students’ learning and be more
open in terms of innovations. Therefore, future studies
should aim on how to change the current culture and to
embrace a more open communicative parental culture
and the degree at which this type of western culture be
implemented in teaching our next generation.
Conflict of Interests
The author(s) have not declared any conflict of interests.
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