Perceived Parental Social Support and Academic Achievement: An Attachment Theory Perspective

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The study tested the extent to which parental social support predicted college grade point average among undergraduate students. A sample of 418 undergraduates completed the Social Provisions Scale–Parent Form (C. E. Cutrona, 1989) and measures of family conflict and achievement orientation. American College Testing Assessment Program college entrance exam scores (ACT; American College Testing Program, 1986) and grade point average were obtained from the university registrar. Parental social support, especially reassurance of worth, predicated college grade point average when controlling for academic aptitude (ACT scores), family achievement orientation, and family conflict. Support from parents, but not from friends or romantic partners, significantly predicted grade point average. Results are interpreted in the context of adult attachment theory.

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