Homework help, achievement in middle school, and later college attainment in China

Sung Won Kim, Vanessa L. Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Based on interviews and surveys conducted between 1999 and 2013 as part of a mixed-method longitudinal study, this article examines relationships between how fathers and mothers provided homework help for 738 eighth and ninth graders in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, China, and these students’ likelihood of getting high test scores in middle school and eventually completing regular bachelor's degrees. We found that the relationship between fathers’ homework help and their children’s test scores in middle school was positive, while the relationship between fathers’ homework help and their children’s college attainment was negative. On the other hand, mothers’ homework help was negatively associated with their children’s middle school test scores and positively associated with their children’s college attainment. These results suggest that fathers and mothers are involved in different ways at home. Follow-up interviews with twenty-eight of the survey respondents revealed that their mothers tended to be more supportive and more frequently and regularly involved with their education, while their fathers’ involvement tended to be more sporadic and harsher.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-631
Number of pages15
JournalAsia Pacific Education Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Nov 16

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0845748. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The research for this article was also supported by a Beinecke Brothers Memorial Fellowship, an Andrew W. Mellon Grant, a National Science Foundation Fellowship, a grant from the Weatherhead Center at Harvard University, a postdoctoral fellowship at the Population Studies Center of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Demography Fund Research Grant, a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship,

Funding Information:
a Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities at Cambridge University, a grant from the Harvard University China Fund, grants from the Harvard University Asia Center, and a grant from the Harvard University William F. Milton Fund. We thank Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Nancy Hill, Kari-Elle Brown, Stephen Koenig, Yun Zhu, Lisa Hsiao, March Zhengyuan Fan, Emily Bai, Lizzy Austadt, Edward Kim, Dian Yu, Kunali Gur-ditta, Raysa Cabrejo, Claire Jia, Eli Harris, and Yi Lu for their advice and assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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