By Natasa Radic – Zagreb
The latest research on a sample of 812 families in Croatia conducted and analysed by the three professors from the Faculty of Philosophy, published in the journal “Psychological Topics” shows that the academic achievement of elementary school pupils is mostly affected by education and income of their parents and their relationship to the children, the number of free activities for children, and growing up in war-affected areas.
-Educated parents on average are better role models for children when it comes to learning, encouraging discussion with the children and encouraging them to independent thinking – said prof. of Psychology Gordana Kuterovac Jagodic. She emphasizes that the extracurriculum activities also have a positive impact on children, but these leisure time activites are not available to all the children in all areas of the country. However, Kuterovac Jagodic points out that it is not good to overburden the children with a lot of extracurricular activities, because it can be counterproductive.
-It would be good for children in war-affected areas to shave free extracurricular activities because their attendance has a positive effect on self-esteem and recognition to what they are good at, according to a survey.
Psychologists who have conducted the study explain that the mothers and fathers living in war-torn areas are less educated, have lower incomes and are used to strict and conservative educational methods. On the other hand, children of better educated parents are better at school because their parents are their role models, and their parents are also very efficient in controlling their studies and class programe, preparing homework and often practice with their children.
Research has shown that children whose mothers tend to express their closeness and warmth easily also perform better in schools, and for disciplining methods they use supportive and argumentative procedures, called positive parenting. These mothers know better and more about all the child’s duties and activities.