Parental influence on kids' extraordinary achievements: A grounded theory
The purpose of this grounded theory study was three fold: (1) to discover commonalities regarding how parents (primary care takers) influence extraordinary achievement in their kids under age twenty, (2) to generate an explanatory theory of this parental influence research, and (3) to use the generated theory to stimulate discussion and additional research to initiate a new knowledge base and field of study focused on parenting young extraordinary achievers, distinct from gifted/talented kids.
Efficacy, the belief that one can achieve a specific task, provided the conceptual framework for this research. Parental influence and efficacy data (both parental efficacy and achiever efficacy) were ascertained using semi-structured interviews from 33 parents of 24 kids. Additional data were collected via documents on 91 parents of 66 kids.
Through open, axial, and selective coding, 404 open codes were aggregated into two multifaceted core axial codes: parents' mindset that was intertwined with parents' behavioral manifestations. Parents' mindset is comprised of three sets: beliefs, values, and expectations, which are linked to their goal directed initiative and consistent support provided to kids. Parents' behavioral manifestations are comprised of six steps which could be distinct, sequential/concurrent, overlapping, cyclical, and repetitive steps: muse, communicator, educator, coach, partner, and promoter. At each step, parents provide a particular message; each message contains embedded efficacy content. These six steps correspond to and combine with six efficacy beliefs of offspring to result in the extraordinary achievement, which actually is a parent-kid team achievement. Combined, all of these components form the emergent ground theory explained and pictorially depicted as a 6-step Parental Influence Pyramid.
This research is significant for educational communities as a whole but also for individuals and groups who want to help young people and societies reach their potentials. Extraordinary achievements, school related or not, provide valuable resources and immense contributions to life. Unused potential is considered by many to be a tragedy at both a personal and societal level.
Further verification of the theory and potential modification could be accomplished through expansion of the methodological approach by revising the interview instrument and redesigning the source of interviewees.
Academic guidance counseling;
Families & family life;
0519: Academic guidance counseling
0628: Families & family life
0628: Personal relationships