Teacher reports and standardized tests showed that this flexible and responsive parenting technique that focused on the child's perspective, explaining the rationale for requests, providing choices, and not using controlling language lead to better outcomes. "Autonomy support was found to increase the odds of children being both high in social and academic adjustment, as well as high in both social adjustment and in reading achievement," the authors state.
The results held true regardless of socio-economic status, gender or IQ.
The study interviewed the mothers of five-year-olds to measure the level of autonomy support and other parenting dimensions. Three years later, the study looked at the children's social adjustment and achievement in reading and math in grade three. "Maternal autonomy support measured in kindergarten was positively associated with social adjustment, academic adjustment and reading achievement in third grade," the authors cite as their most important finding.
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