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Variability in Asian parents’ English and mathematics skills: A family-based study

Pan, D. J., Yang, X., Ku, Y. Y. S. , Dulay, K. M. ORCID: 0000-0001-8827-9613, Cheung, S. K., McBride, C., Wong, P. C. M. & Ho, C. S. H. (2022). Variability in Asian parents’ English and mathematics skills: A family-based study. Frontiers in Education, 7, article number 898201. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2022.898201


What explains parental English word reading and mathematics performance? The present study examined whether parent-, family-, and child-related variables explain parents’ English word reading and mathematics performances among two groups of Asian parents. The data were collected from 152 Hong Kong and 280 Cebu City (Philippines) parents who learn English as a second language. The academic performances of their children (Hong Kong: Mean age = 8.72 years; Cebu City; Mean age = 6.59 years) were also measured. Regression analysis results suggested that, across both groups, parents with higher education levels tended to perform better in English word reading. In addition, in Hong Kong, but not the Philippines, family income was a unique correlate of parental English word reading performance, whereas in the Philippines, but not Hong Kong, the parent’s own mathematics skill and the child’s own English word reading skill were also uniquely associated with parental English performance. Across both groups, parents’ mathematics skills were associated with better literacy skills. In addition, in Hong Kong, more positive attitudes toward mathematics were additionally predictive of better mathematics performance, as were children’s own mathematics performances. In the Philippines only, mothers tended to be poorer in mathematics than fathers. Such results underscore the complexity of family related literacy and mathematics, including family status and intergenerational effects.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 Pan, Yang, Ku, Dulay, Cheung, McBride, Wong and Ho. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Publisher Keywords: family status, intergenerational effect, parental academic performance, Philippines, Hong Kong
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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