Why do girls do better in reading than boys? How parental emotional contagion explains gender differences in reading achievement

Ma Jenina NALIPAY, Yuyang CAI, Ronnel Bornasal KING

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous studies that attempted to explain why girls often perform better than boys in reading have emphasized the role of values and beliefs, with little attention paid to the role of emotions. This study focused on the role of parent–child emotional contagion in explaining gender differences, by investigating how parents' reading emotion predicts students' reading emotion and subsequent reading achievement. The data that was used was from a subsample of students from the Program for International Students Assessment (n = 84,429) from 14 countries. Multi‐group structural equation modeling was conducted to assess a model of parents' enjoyment of reading predicting reading achievement through students' enjoyment of reading. Results provided support for a model of parents' enjoyment of reading, predicting students' enjoyment of reading, and subsequent reading achievement for both girls and boys. However, the indirect effect of parents' enjoyment of reading on reading achievement through students' enjoyment of reading was found to be stronger in girls than in boys. Findings emphasize the important role of parents' emotions on student outcomes and how gender biases in a certain context can affect the extent to which parents' emotions can influence student achievement. Copyright © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-319
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Volume57
Issue number2
Early online dateDec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Citation

Nalipay, M. J. N., Cai, Y., & King, R. B. (2020). Why do girls do better in reading than boys? How parental emotional contagion explains gender differences in reading achievement. Psychology in the Schools, 57(2), 310-319. doi: 10.1002/pits.22330

Keywords

  • Emotional contagion
  • Gender differences
  • Reading achievement
  • Reading emotions

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