The objectives of study were: (1) To compare the parenting practices of rural and urban low and high SES groups. (2) To compare the parenting practices of the social and academic achievement of urban low and high SES groups and rural primary school children. (3) To study the gender differences in parenting practices and social skills among the different groups (SES and locality). (4) To know the influence of interfamilial context (SES and locality) and familial factors and characteristics of parents and child on the parenting practices, social skills and academic achievement. (5) To study the influence of parenting practices on the social skills and academic achievement of primary school children. (6) To study the influence of social skills on the peer status and academic achievement.
The hypotheses of study were: (1) Children of authoritative parents and those who promote peer contacts would exhibit more pro-social and less disruptive behaviors and more accepted by peers, while those whose parents are permissive, authoritarian would manifest disruptive behavior and likely to be rejected by peer. (2) Children who had positive social interaction indices would be more accepted by peers. (3) Gender differences would exist in (positive and negative) the social skills of children. (4) Familial and extra familial factors would influence the parenting practices and social skills. (5) Social skills would influence the academic achievement and acceptance / rejection of children by peers.
The sample comprised of 260 children, the parents of the selected children (255 mothers and 243 fathers) and 24 class teachers of the children of grades 1 to 4 from six schools. The schools were selected randomly from each strata viz., rural government school, the lower SES urban government school, and upper SES private urban school from Dharwad Taluka of Karnataka state.
The tools used were: Parenting Style Rating Scale by Robinson et al., (adopted), Home Environment Inventory by Mohile, Promotion of Peer Contacts in non-school setting; an interview schedule by developed by Hart et al. (adopted), Social Skill Rating Scale by Gresham and Elliot, Teacher Nominations of Children’s Social Behavior a Questionnaire developed by Hart et al., (adopted), Sociometry and Peer Ratings of acceptance / rejection, Academic Competence–a sub scale by Gresham and Elliot, Socio-Economic Status Inventory by Aron et al., Venkataramayya and Hauser (A combination of items). Academic achievement – marks obtained in terminal and final examination or average of two.
The study was descriptive type.
The statistical techniques used for data analysis were Paired t-test, t-test, ANOVA, Discriminate Analysis, Canonical correlation, Multiple Regression Analysis, Factor Analysis- Varimax Rotation.
The findings of study were: (1) The three groups of children differed in the parenting received, self-control (positive social skill) and externalizing and internalizing behavior problems (negative social skills) and in academic achievement (both academic competence and academic marks). (2) The parenting practices influenced the social skills and academic achievement. (3) The extra familial and familial factors affected the parenting practices significantly but did not affect social skills. Thus indicating that parenting practices mediate the influence of extra familial and familial factors and social skills.
Keyword(s): Parenting Practices, Social Skills, Academic Achievement, Primary School Children , Rural Areas, High Socio-economic