Professor Eva Pomerantz and graduate students Jiawen Wu and Dajung (Diana) Oh show link between Parents Positivity towards math and children’s math achievement

Jiawen Wu (left), Dajung (Diana) Oh (not pictured), and Dr. Eva Pomerantz (right) coauthored the new study with a collaborator from the University of Georgia.

New work from graduate students Jiawen Wu, Dajung (Diana) Oh, and Professor Eva Pomerantz demonstrate the connection between the way parents support young children with math homework and their child’s later mathematics motivation and achievement. 

The researchers found that the more negativity parents felt when either helping children with math homework or playing math and number activities with them predicted their child’s later dislike of math and their willingness to engage in difficult math problems. It also was associated with lower math achievement scores a year later. Math homework was particularly likely to evoke negativity from parents, including feelings of irritation and anxiety. The more effective parents felt in helping their children with math, the more likely parents were to report emotionally positive experiences in supporting their children’s math engagement. The work highlights the important relationship between a parent’s sense of confidence and positivity towards math and their child’s willingness to engage with the subject. 

You can read more about this research at the Illinois News Bureau.


This research was reported in:

Wu, J., Barger, M. M., Oh, D., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2022). Parents’ daily involvement in children’s math homework and activities during early elementary school. Child development.