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This essay seeks to briefly discuss and examine the role of parents and/or guardians in the education of their child and/or ward and the factors that may influence the parents’ and/or guardians’ perception of their roles. In addition, the impact of parental perception of their roles on the education of the child and/or ward will be briefly discussed. The first factor that being discussed will be the effect of household socio-economic status on the attitudes and actions of parents and/or guardians with regards to the education of their child and/or ward. The second factor that will to be discussed will be the social and cultural practices and expectations within a society and its influence on parental involvement in education. Finally, the need for more cross-cultural research in this area to facilitate the addition of more multifaceted, and culturally appropriate strategies for encouraging parental involvement in education will be demonstrated. The terms ‘parents’ and ‘parental’ hereafter will be in reference to both parents and guardians and ‘child’ and/or ‘children’ shall refer to both ‘children’ and ‘wards’. Parental perception of their responsibilities as parents is often influenced by various factors, including but not limited to: socio-economic status, and social and cultural practices and expectations within that society. The first factor being discussed is the effect of socio-economic status on the attitudes and actions of parents with regards to the education of their student and/or ward. Parents' years of schooling also was found to be an important socioeconomic factor to take into consideration in both policy and research when looking at school-age children (Davis-Kean, 2005). Most research indicates that parents with more years of schooling are often more actively and constructively involved in the education of their children. The first assumption explaining this correlation between parents’ years of schooling/level of education and parental involvement is that having an informed understanding and experiencing the benefits of education these parents are more inclined to dedicate time and effort, to assist their children in achieving academic success. However, another explanation of the correlation between years of schooling of parents and and levels of parental involvement is that parental self-efficacy affects the belief parents have of being able to effectively perform their perceived duties and roles as parents. Self-efficacy is roughly defined as an individual’s own belief in his/her ability to efficiently and effectively execute an action, duty or goal. Low parental self-efficacy would therefore indicate a poor/low belief by a parent of being able to successfully perform parental roles/duties as a parent. Albert Bandura (1977, 1986, 1997), arguably the most influential contemporary personality theorist, asserts that people evaluate a situation according to certain internal expectancies, such as personal preferences, and this evaluation affects their behaviour (Morris & Maisto, 2009). Therefore, a parent with low parental self-efficacy may not believe that they could successfully perform their perceived roles as a parent and this might discourage them from becoming actively involved in their children’ education. The second factor that will be briefly discussed is the social and cultural practices and expectations within a society and its influence on parental involvement in education. The measure of involvement of the parent with regards to the education of their child, and how that involvement is viewed by the wider society can drastically differ according to the specific culture of that society. In an early 1998 cross-cultural study conducted by Leung, Lau and Lam, which investigated the relationships between four parenting styles and academic achievement in school children in Hong Kong, the United States and Australia, variances in levels of general authoritarianism were found. Though this cross-cultural study was conducted years ago, similar results are still found in current studies in contemporary society. However, due to the resources needed to conduct cross-cultural, longitudinal studies, the dimensions of parental involvement have yet to been as thoroughly examined as it could be. Therefore, the challenge arises when attempting to create a cross-culturally accurate yet sufficiently objective and flexible agreement of parental role in education. Questions arise such as: What is an appropriate amount of involvement a parent should have in the education of their child? How much time should a parent dedicate on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis to their children education? How much instruction should a parent provide their child with their homework? How much attention is acceptable before parents are classed with negative stereotypes, such as a ‘helicopter parent’. Which is more important for parents to encourage in their child, autonomy or interdependence? The answers to these questions become increasingly complex when comparing cultures that are more individualistic, like America and Western cultures, vs. those that are more Collectivist, such as Japan, and other Asian cultures. Educators and international institutions whom parents often turn to for advice that offer programs, whether online or face-to-face that attract a wide variety of individuals from diverse backgrounds and differing cultures can often experience difficulty in successfully supporting or sometimes even understanding the often drastically different relationships various parents will have with their children and the impact it may have on one students’ performance or education versus another. In summary, parental perception can be influenced by multiple factors, such as socio-economic status, and social and cultural factors, which were briefly discussed in this essay. Low parental perception can encourage low levels of self-efficacy which can adversely affect a parents’ perceived capability of being able to effectively and efficiently carry out their duties as a parent. The need for further cross-cultural research involving parental involvement, parental perception, parental self-efficacy, and the impact on the education and development of children is necessary. Further cross-cultural and longitudinal studies would not only identify the areas that negatively and positively influence parent and child relationships but it would lead to the creation of suitable strategies that could be implemented for diverse families from various cultures and different socio-economic backgrounds. References Davis-Kean, P. (2005), The Influence of Parent Education and Family Income on Child Achievement: The Indirect Role of Parental Expectations and the Home Environment. Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 19(2), Jun 2005, 294-304 Kwok Leung, Sing Lau & Wai-Lim Lam, (1998), Merrill-Palmer Quarterly. Vol. 44, No. 2 (April 1998), pp. 157-172 Morris, , C.G. & Maisto, A.A. (2009). Psychology: The Core. Pearson Education Inc.