Parent and teacher educational expectations and adolescents' academic performance: Mechanisms of influence

Aprile D. Benner, Celeste C. Fernandez, Yang Hou, Chelsea Smith Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The current study investigated how parents' and teachers' educational expectations both directly and indirectly shaped young people's academic outcomes in a nationally-representative sample of high school students (Education Longitudinal Study; N = 9654 adolescents). Higher parent and math teacher expectations in 10th grade were associated with better 12th grade math scores and higher grade point averages, math course-taking sequence, and educational attainment two years post-high school. High parent expectations generally magnified the particularly strong positive effects of high math teacher expectations, and there was some evidence of variation in links between adult expectations and outcomes by both student race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Parents' educational involvement at school, teacher-student relationships, and school-parent communication mediated the links between adult educational expectations and academic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2679-2703
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors acknowledge the support of grants from the William T Grant Foundation to the first author and NICHD to the first author (K01HD087479) and the Population Research Center at UT Austin (P2CHD042849). Opinions reflect those of the authors and not necessarily those of the granting agencies.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC


  • academic achievement
  • parent educational expectations
  • parental involvement
  • teacher educational expectations
  • teacher-student relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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