Parenting style and locus of control, motivation, and school adaptation among students with borderline intellectual functioning
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Submission date: 2014-11-18
Acceptance date: 2014-11-18
Online publication date: 2014-12-24
Publication date: 2014-12-08
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2014;2(4):251-266
Parenting style impacts children’s psychosocial development. Students with borderline intellectual functioning (BIF) are especially sensitive to the quality of parental care. The objective of this study was to compare parenting styles of mothers of children with BIF and mothers of typically developing peers, and establish associations between parenting styles and children’s psychosocial traits, which determine their school functioning.

Participants and procedure
Forty-two primary school students in Grades 4 to 6, their teachers, and mothers participated in the study. Based on their IQ level they comprised two groups: students with BIF (criterion group; n = 21) and students with average IQ (comparison group; n = 21). A series of measures were used to assess mothers’ parenting style and students’ psychosocial traits. Questionnaires measuring students’ psychosocial pro­perties were administered to children and their teachers in order to compare their perspectives.

Mothers of children with BIF in comparison to mothers in the control group presented greater inclinations towards over-parenting. Based on self-reports, students with BIF did not differ from their typically developing classmates in terms of school motivation, anxiety, locus of control, or social adjustment, despite their lower academic performance. According to teachers, students with BIF had significantly lower school motivation and delayed socialization. For students with BIF but not for the comparison group, a negative correlation was found between mothers’ tendency to dominate over their child and students’ locus of control and school motivation.

Children with BIF are especially sensitive to the quality of mothers’ parenting style, which can have an adverse effect on their school adjustment.
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