Effect of Multigenerational Relationships on Adolescent's Academic Aspiration Open Access
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Using data from the Iowa Youth & Families Project, this research investigates the effect of children having grandparents to discuss life issues with on the children's academic aspiration. This study rests on the assumption that the more positive influences children have during youth, the more positively they view their own future. The addition of grandparents' support positively affects the child's educational aspiration. This can be seen from the theoretical perspective of ecological systems theory, which describes how the amount of interaction and the strength of the relationship between a child and someone in their immediate family and/or community environment will hold a tremendous weight on a child's development. This framework provides a structure in which the quality of a child's relationship in their environment creates an intricate component that affects a child's cognitive process to mature and grow. This paper forms the hypothesis that the relationship created between children and their grandparents will have a positive effect on children's academic aspiration. Findings suggest that intergenerational interactions increase an adolescent's academic aspiration. The results also show that social capital provided by parents and peers, such as developing social norms of what is acceptable and what their expectations of academic aspiration are, has strong influence on educational aspiration. The implications of these findings suggest that the more affirmative influences a child has in their life, the more that encouragement will have some bearing on other aspects of their development, such as furthering education.