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The Role of The Parental Expectations and Academic Stress on Academic Achievement in High School Students

Table of Contents

Contents Page No
Title Page I
Table of Contents ii
List of  Tables iii
List of Abbreviation iv
List of Appendices v
Abstract vi
Chapter 1 1-20
Introduction 1
1.1 Parental Expectation 1
1.2 Academic Stress 5
1.3 Academic Achievement 10
Literature Review 13
1.4 International Researches 9
1.4.1 Parental Expectation 13
1.4.2 Academic Stress 14
1.4.3 Academic Achievement 16
1.4.4 Relationship Between Study 17
1.5 Indigenous Researches 17
1.6 Summary of the Literature 19
1.7 Rational of the Study 19
1.8 Objective 20
            1.9 Hypothesis 20
Chapter II 21-28
2.1 Research Design 21
2.2 Sample 21
2.2.1 Inclusion Criteria 21
2.2.2 Exclusion Criteria 21
2.3 Operational Definition of Variables 23
2.3.1 Parental Expectation 23
2.3.2 Academic Stress 23
2.3.2 Academic Achievement 24
2.4 Measures 24
2.4.1 Living up to Parental Expectation Inventory 24
2.4.2 Steps in Translation of the Scale 25
2.5 Objectives 25
2.5.1 First Phase 25
2.5.2 Step 1 Forward Translation 25
2.5.3 Step 2 Evaluation of Translation Item by Researcher 25
2.5.4 Step 3 Back Translation 25
2.5.5 Step 4 Items Evaluation of the Backward Translation 26
2.5.6 Phase 2 Try Out Study 26
2.6 Education Stress Scale for Stress 26
2.7 Demographic Information Questionnaire 27
2.8 Procedure 27
2.9 Ethical Consideration 28
Chapter III 30
3.1 Summary of the Findings 36
Chapter IV
Discussion 37
4.1 Limitation 39
4.2 Suggestions 40
4.3 Implication 40




I am heartily thankful to Almighty Allah, for giving me the strength and courage to successfully complete this research. I feel deeply indebted to my supervisor and co- supervisor whose kind guidance and support made it possible to complete this research project. They generously gave time for discussion. Their enthusiasm, encouragement, keen interest, innovations, motivating attitude and tolerance in guiding me and in giving me valuable suggestions have added to my successful research work.i am grateful to the whole staff of Institute including computer lab incahrge and library incharge. During this work, enormous encouragements of my beloved siblings, specially my sister have been always with me.

I am grateful to my family who has always been really supportive towards my academic work especially. Lastly, I want to thank my participants for being so cooperative and generous. I am so thankful to him for giving his precious time. Without their efforts, I was not able to complete my research proposal smoothly.

List of Tables

Table 1 Demographic characteristics of sample (N=200)
Table 2 Descriptive Statistics and Alpha Coefficient (α) of Study Variables for High School Students (N=200)
Table 3 Correlation between the dimensions of Parental Expectation, Educational Stress and Academic Achievements in High School Students (N=200)
Table 4 Linear Regression show effect of Parental Expectation, Academic Stress and Academic Achievement in High School Students (N=200)
Table 5 Gender Wise Difference between Parental Expectation, Academic Stress and Academic Achievement in High School Students (N=200)         

List of Abbreviation and Symbols

  • α                      Cronbach’s Alpha Index of Internal Consistency
  • β                      Beta; Standardized Multiple Regression Coefficient
  • df                     Degree of Freedom
  • f                       Frequency
  • M                     Average Arithmetic Mean
  • N                     Total Number of Sample
  • %                     Percentage
  • P                      Level of Significance
  • SD                   Standard Deviation

List of Appendices

  • Appendix A    Permission from the Authors of the Scales
  • Appendix B    Institutional Permission
  • Appendix C    Consent Form
  • Appendix D    Plagiarism Report



The current study aims to find out the role of the parental expectations and academic stress on academic achievement in high school students. It was hypothesized that there will be a positive relationship between parental expectations, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students; gender difference was also speculated regarding study variables. Purposive sample of 200 students including 100 students of 10th grade(sciences and computer sciences) and 100 students of 12th  grade (premedical group and pre engineering group) was drawn from 2 public and 2 private sector schools and colleges of Lahore. Assessment measures were used as Parental Expectations Inventory (Wang &Heppner 2002), Educational Stress Scale for Adolescents (Dune, et al2010) to assess the academic stress.Academic achievement was assessed with the help of percentages in final exams of 9th and 11th grade. Parental Expectations Inventory was translated into Urdu following the forward-backward standardized translation procedures (MAPI, 2011). For relationship assessment correlation analysis (Pearson Product Moment) was carried out. Findings revealed that significant relationship found between the dimensions of the parental expectations and academic stress scale. Where as no significant relationship was found between parental expectations, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students. For predication regression analysis was conducted and results showed that parental expectations and academic stress proved non significant predictor of academic achievement for present sample. For gender difference  t- test was carried out and results proved that girls scored high on parental expectations as compared to boys.

Key words: Parental expectations, Academic stress, Academic achievement, High school students.


Chapter 1


Parents play a pivotal role in the children’s development and parents had many expectations for their children especially about their study. Their expectations provoke sometimes stress in their children and influences the academic achievement. The Parental expectations and aspirations have extensive or large effects on the achievements of their children (Atwood, 2009). Especially in adolescences because during this period they understand the parental expectations and try to fulfill their expectations. When they not able to accomplish their expectations it lead to stress and influence their academic achievement (Putwain, 2007). Present research detected the relationship between parental expectations, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students.

Parental Expectations

The parental expectations are extremely influence children’s academic advancement and it has conventional significant awareness from psychologists and sociologists over the current century. The parents are important figures with whom intentionally or unintentionally, children become aware of and try to show and implied expectations (Taylor, Harris, & Sysan, 2004).

Generally parental expectations were found to take part in a essential role in children’s academic success. Students whose parents had high potential get higher grade and

higher scores on standardized tests, and continue longer in school than do those whose parents had rather low expectations with their children (Yamamoto, & Holloway, 2010).

On the other hand high parental expectations are also connected to children’s inspiration to achieve in scholastic area and social flexibility, and had high aspiration to concentrate college. In some literature it was also shown that parental expectations related to children’s achievement forecast educational outcomes more than do other actions of parental concern, such as company school events (Hossler, & Stage, 1992).

Parents and their expectations influence the whole personality of an infant. And parental expectations play a vital role in a child’s academic and future performance. Parents have  expectations for their children accomplishment  related to education that are influence their children’s expectations and attainment, and early expectations be apt to continue the whole time the child’s school years. Parents hold a role is a set of expected behaviors and values associated with their child (Atwood, 2009).

The parents expect their own child to get good grades on education. Although education is measured an individual and mainly cognitive ability and the highest educational worth is recognized to cognitive academic competencies but such education as fosters them to (Danziger, 1997).

The parents set on their educational expectations from their children basically they have been renowned to their own education parents think that their child will get an education at least to the level they capable (Simola, Kivinen, & Rinne, 1997) And they had no matter child own expectations which is then also rejected in the children’s own prospect (Ahola, & Nurmi, 1997).

Parental expectation has been defined in different ways with the reference of literature and researches describe parental expectations as practical attitude or judgments that parents contain about their children’s achievement as reflected in classes grades, highest level of school attained or college turnout, researchers have also asked about student perception of parental hope as a alternative for parental expectations themselves.

Although parenting styles may differ parents lead to want to do what is best for their children and children usually pay attention to what is said by their parents, thus children are effected and parents communicate their influence to children through connections both verbal and nonverbal ways .Thus there are effects what children think say and perceive about various professions (Taylor, Harris, & Susan, 2004).

All parents are believe that to be well-wishers of their children they try hard to provide of their best achievable setting require some built in expectations of the parents about their children. The parents make determined efforts to form their children and would also be qualified by others in such a way that the children come up to the expectations (Qureshi, 1984).

When children parents and teachers have strong encouraging expectations for their children, children generally flourish. This is not because expectations only are enough for achievement because when people imagine doing fine they are generally provoked to work hard to attain the expectations. In addition persons by high hopes are generally more contented draw support and show more self-assurance (Wenger, Dermott, & Snyder, 2002). Parent’s expectations for their children’s school achievement affect their children’s expectation. And early expectations lead to continue all through the child’s school year and parental expectations for children’s academic achievement predict educational outcomes. Also Parents’ expectations influence child performance through different ways. Aspirations are shows the expectations in the future life which condition of the parents and their social circle in the light of these possessions parents social circle provide different bases for social mobility (Goher,1984).

Parental expectations have strong consequences on child personality expectations. When strong and practical expectations from support child’s success unrealistically high expectations can set children up for failure. Therefore impractical hope can also cause to anxiety and dissuasion when a child cannot live up to their parents goals. Therefore low expectations can make it tricky for child to see and achieve their full elective (Froiland, & Davison, 2014).

Family services indicate that parents often try to compensate for their own unmet childhood desires by set potential for their children based their own experiences slightly on their child’s needs. Some parents who were upset with their own academic attainment might give emphasis to high academic achievement in their own children. In broad-spectrum the parents must be aware of their children’s unique requirements and strengths as well as to work out self-awareness when establish expectations.

Expectations is especially related to selection children accomplish something in school college and further than because it urges one to increase and passionately follow goals and to find out from one’s mistakes repeatedly seeking ways of better pursuing goals. In fact, children, adolescents and college students achieve more when they have high level of expectations and college students with high levels of expectations are extensively more possible to adjust from college (Wenger, McDermott, & Snyder, 2002).

When parents suppose their children to accomplish something academically they achieve extra than they if not would contain. The previous psychologists, social workers, teachers, principals and parents are accessible that parent involvement is important for child progress. On the other hand, school and families don’t understand that there is dominant psychological largeness to person contributions. Frequent studies include that a positive link among parent’s expectations like expecting their children to do well in school and children‘s achievement. The positive things of strong parental expectations on children’s achievements contain be establish in studies that followed children and parents for several time even when calculating for parents contributions and children early on cognitive capability. Parents who were disappointed with their own academic performance might stress high academic attainment in their own children. Overall, parents must be alert of their children’s exclusive needs and strengths, as well as to exercise self-awareness when establish expectations (Froiland, Peterson, & Davison, 2014).

Parental policy and thoughts as regards appropriate performance must be age appropriate and the think the child development and skills. But a childes capabilities this may generate anxiety or mutinous behaviors. Therefore, parents must think each childes distinctive skills and boundaries when establishing expectations.

According to Jean Piaget theory cognitive development indicate that how children symbolize and motivated about the world. This is based on developmental stages and in which describe that how parents play role thinking pattern of their child and when parents member own expectations related child education many time the child think about it (Hudson, Comer, & Kendall, 2008).

Some parent do not interfere with him basic feelings for their child or with their patterns of behavior. Firstly parents starts shows own concerns about their child life  during his early years and child perceive what his mother and father say it, , But if child knowing about parents standards they were confused or feel will have more difficulty in what there are expected to do and in learning to work out sound decision (Jenkin ,1996).

1.2 Academic Stress                                                                                                                          

Stress means of a perceived threat (actual or expected) to one’s psychological, physical and sacred well being, consequential from a chain of physiological responses and adaptations (Seaward, 2006).

Stress has become suggestive of tip of in education section as well as in social side. Academic stress has large influence on the life of students. It has been one of the major factors that is contributing students propensity towards the hopelessness, despair, worry, harsh, self-harming actions and turn then towards suicidal behaviors (Aug, & Huan, 2006).

There are three different type of stress. First is eustress which is a good stress and comes under any condition that a person feels rousing. Falling in love can be example of eustress, Second is not neustress which describes sensory stimulus that has nor resulting effect, it is not good stress and not as bad. The News of an earthquake in a remote corner of the world might be an example of this stress third is anguish which is actually bad and know to be purely as stress (Seaward, 2006).

Academic stress means education related stresses it can be in every situation otherwise feel stress. Academic stress is the main sources of stress faced by young people. Some students   often feel high academic burden fewer contentment related their scholastic achievement. And had high outer saddle to study, and may suffer more educational stress (Dunne, Sun, & Nugan, 2010).

Preiffer (2001) find that students have a fear of failure in related to their academic work and prenatal expectations. Positive stress facilitates the students by motivating them to present well in test, exam and assignment.

Academic stress is one of the main stresses a type of distress. Academic means taking different exams writing different text and completing assignment. In short, academic measure what a person has learned (Seaward, 2006). Academic stress can be described as a student’s connections with environmental stressors, the student’s cognitive thoughtfulness of and coping with the academic-related stressors, and emotionally or physiological reaction to the stressors (Lee & Larson, 2000; Lou, & Chi, 2000). All the discussion showed that educational stress is a persistent problem among students (Wong, Wong, & Scott, 2002).

Stress indicate significant point of discussion in education department as well as in social circle a wide research on stress has been conducted deducing its result with the conclusion

Academic stressors basically refer to any type academic demands like environmental, social, Internal demands that cause a student to influence adjustment his or her behavior (Thoits, 1995).

Although academic stressors usual actions in a student life that affects student academic and intellectual health. Usually, examination, too much groundwork, time issues, and peer contest that are customary as worldwide studious stressors and its can be global to all cultures (Cheng, Leong, & Geist, 1993).

Parents play a role the contributing students’ educational stress. When stress is perceived negatively or become excessive, it can influence the academic performance. Academic stress is the mixture of academic related load that go beyond the adaptive resources accessible to a person previous research from different countries find that academically stress is associated to the force to go and fear of failure, and is related with a large series of cognitive and educational factors (Meijer, 2007: Putwain, 2009).

Students make practice to excellent grades because their parents expect it. And they may offer themselves to such pressure because they wish to get into education school .During the time period of study the tension of examinations result in substantial stress for many students (Carson, Butcher, & Mineka, 2001).

The severe stress a person may sense when attractive a high stakes college admissions test to the anxiety people with a persistent terror of math experiences when sitting in math class explain prominent commonalities in the special effects they have on cognitive functioning . Particularly these stressful academic situations decrease the functioning memory obtainable to attend to task information giving out requirements and to control its implementation (Tharp, & Pickering, 2009; DeCaro; Thomas, 2008).

Even excessive moment in time frequently leads to anxiety a number of students practice completely unusual form of academic stress. Increasing anxiety in excess of exams, presentations or additional course milestones be able to excursion even the best time mangers. Towards fight these demons just preparation to the lead and next a plan might not be sufficient. The studying successfully and meaningful the materials surely helps no difficulty some test repeated stress. Working in façade of friends is able to create talking in community a little fewer frightening other than what stress persist. This is while it actually pays to exist practical (Seaward, 2006).

Reason of academic stress many researches agrees to the most ordinary appearance of anxiety cause academic stress is achievement anxiety. The achievement anxiety is a terror of failure in an academic situations that arises while parents, teachers otherwise the students have expectations go above what the students believes they can practically attain the sours of achievement anxiety contain failure to convince determined or excessively serious parents expectations in early on childhood as well as early experiences to overachieving siblings or peers. Considering other obtain admire and rewards for their achievements be able to provide students a fake feeling of what teachers and parents expect of them (Gupta, Gupta, Mishra, & Sharma, 2011).

According to Ecological system theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) that is normally believed that many uniqueness of students and their environment including family, school and peers may boast an effect on stress. Recent study in East Asia show that controlling parenting alert on the child’s academic triumph has negative influence on their behavioral and emotional welfare (Hesketh et al. 2010).

Academic stress is a mentally distress with some frustration related with academic malfunction such failure or even an knowledge of the risk of such failure (Gupta, Gupta, Mishra, & Sharma, 2011).

Chen et al. (2008) study the academic stress related of the students from universities and colleges of technology and in this research revealed the following points which provoke academic problems, frustrations or difficulty are faced in the schools, students may undergo from an difficulty to adjust, leading to miserable or challenging phenomena happening to the body and mind. Academic stress adversely affects overall adjustment of students (Hussain et al., 2008).

And describe the academic stress has four groups stress from test scores like tests, results and parents’ expectations, stress from teachers like courses work and teaching methods ,stress from myself like own potential, option of subjects and time management, stress from peers like group information, academic friendship and conflict from social group (Tharp, & Pickering, 2009; DeCaro; Thomas , 2008).

Zeidner (1998) indicate that students appeared to beneath high by pressure produce from course overwork and academic appraisal measures and least stressed by individual recognizable and community aspect. Academic stress a high expectation of school work and homework, dissatisfaction related academic grades misplace of attention in study. Poor academic performance and grades normally provoke high academic stress, the in consisting between real and predictable grades may play a more important role in the increase of behavioral and psychological problems like depression, stress and anxiety (Sun, Dun, Huo, & Xu, 2011).

1.3 Academic Achievement

Achievement means to do ones best to be successful to solve problems and puzzles to accomplish tasks requiring skill and effort (Moore, 1959) Achievement is regarded as act of implementation or attaining by hard work. It is consider everything win by effort, an accomplishment, a notable and flourishing action (Yusuf, 2010).

The achievement motive is requires to master hard challenges to out complete others and to meet high principles of characteristic. It is intellectual and established motive (Rivera, Galarza, Entz, & Tharp, 2002) .

educational achievement the conclusion of education the degree to use a undergraduate, teacher or association has achieved their learning goals. Academic achievement is usually considered by examinations grades or continuous academic assessment but there is no find the common agreement on how way is best practiced to measure by academic stress. Learning outcome can be measured by academic achievement and accountability (Steve, 2000).

In academic achievement, a student must have completed successfully certain courses achieve definite grade-point average for during learning duration, it is not just one-point examination of assessable performance of a person that constitutes his academic achievement. In sort to assess student’s academic achievement there should be an evaluation of how well they accomplishes the plan goals summarize of their collective academic program performance up to the point of graduation. Institutions should help professionally and successfully sort out towards the academic achievement (Engelmann, & Carnine, 1991).

Individual differences in academic achievement related to difference in intellect level and qualities of the student with advanced intellectual competence as established by tend to achieve considerably in academic settings. Parent’s influence students’ academic achievement by determining students’ skills, behaviors and attitudes towards education. Classroom and teachers are mainly responsible for student academic achievement (Darling-Hammond, 2000).

Tanev et.al (2014) find the learning outcome can be content only if the research study cover measurement of cognitive feature of behavior and thoughts. He stated further that a research will convince academic achievement and performance if the study is partial to consistent achievement test and teacher made test respectively. The goal of the education frequently determine knowledge conclusion. This revealed that learning outcome transcends cognitive assessment (Yusuf, 2010).

Piaget theory indicate that children go during four stages of cognitive maturity as they actively build their perceptive of the world. He present four stages in thoughtful the world first stage is the sensory motor stage, that lasts from origin to about two years of age .In this stage infants construct an accepting understanding of the world by coordinate sensory experiences. The next stage Preoperational stage, in this stage children being to go away from merely linking sensory information with physical action and signify the world with words, descriptions and drawing. The third stage concrete operational stage, in this stage children perform operation. That involve object and they can reason logically when the analysis can be applied to specific or concrete examples. The fourth stage Formal operational stage in this stage individual move beyond concrete experiences and being to think in abstract and more logical terms .Adolescents develop images of ideal situation. They might think regarding what an perfect parent would be like and evaluate their parents to this ideal strand. They are to amuse potential for the expectations and are captivated with they can be.

All the individual and emotional variables that have involved researchers in this area of educational achievement, inspiration seems to be ahead more fame and important other variables (Tella, 2003).

It is most significant that both educators and learners have a clear understanding of the idea and nature of self-governing knowledge skills for its more growth that enhance the academic achievement (Williamson, 2007). The above introduction showed how the parental expectations and academic stress influence the academic achievements of the children and in the current research academic achievement also assessed through previous board exams marks.

Literature Review

The following previous literature will help us to explore whether or not parental expectations leads towards academic stress and stress influence the student’s academic achievements.

1.4 International Researches

  • 1.4.1 Parental Expectations

Li (2007) conducted a study on the parental expectations of the Chinese immigrant families about their child’s study and career used open ended questioner and sample consisted seven immigrants’ families. The result indicate that the parental expectations of Chinese immigrant that are the child’s got well education and in this way they safe there professional future and the parents expect that child’s leaves a good life and he describe the parental expectations in daily life ply a positivity role.

The Parental expectations and their special effects on student routine explain with crossways various racial and ethnic groups of students. Yamamoto and Holloway (2010) indicated in the  that the point of parental opportunity differ by cultural and ethnic group and find that earlier students’ educational performance is a small well-known wish of parental expectations together racial and ethnic trivial parents than among European American parents and logical the relation among students’ earlier presentation and parental expectations. The review illustrate that the relation of parental prospect to parallel or upcoming student’s triumph outcomes is weaker for racial and ethnic marginal families than for European American families (Yamamoto, & Holloway, 2010).

Influence of the educational expectations of parents and capability of their children used survey method and sample divided into two parts academically educated parents 5126 and vocationally educated parents 5375 .The findings revealed that the child had self-evident those parents academically educated and other hand the child based life choice situation. The vocationally educated parent had strongly patterned of capability estimation then where those of the academically educated parents and also find parents build up child capability to socially representation through education (Raty, Leinonen, & Snellman, 2002).

  • 1.4.2 Academic stress

Lin, Lin, Wang, and Chen (2008) explored that cause of the academic stress and why students affect this stress. This study is qualitative and sample consisted of 10colleges and university students in   the technology that used stratified random sampling and conduct the depth interweaves and find the different causes of the academic stress like frustrations related problem and Adjustment related problem provoke the academic stress and also divided this causes in four groups stress related to test score, stress from teacher related work, stress related to own self and peers related stress.

Opdenakker and Damme, (2007) examined the idea that the young people very concerned about their education and they faced stress related to own study if this stress is rigorous and extended that have a most important effect on health and well-being of the students. The negative impact like anxiety depression behavioral problems and youth suicide. Sample was consisted 2000 adolescents and used Educational Stress Scale for Adolescents (ESSA) and  the result indicated that study related stress provoke the negative impact of the students.

Sun ,Dunne , Hou and xu (2011) investigated factor related with educational stress and influences of family school and peers relations .The sample was consisted 1627 urban and rural areas students  to measures the range of family ,school and peers stress used Educational Stress Scale For Adolescents (ESSA) .The result showed that less school concentration , the location of school, poor study grades ,gender ,age and many emotional conflicts with peers and teacher the power full correlates and mainly related study behavior. Also indicated that parental and family factor not have related with perceived educational stress.

Xiao (2013) inspected the relationship between academic stresses, test related anxiety and test performance and how students use coping strategies and social support to solve this problem. Sample consisted 450 Chinese high school students and used Test Anxiety Inventory to assess the anxiety level of the students and also used Academic Stress Scale (ASS) ,Simplified Coping Style Questionnaire(SCSQ) and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS).the result revealed that scholastic pressure is helpful related students test anxiety and negative related to test presentation he also find that is influential association between test anxiety test routine when students established parent support and other social support .

Lannstrome (2009) examined relationship between academic stresses, social anxiety and subjective wellbeing of student. The sample consisted of 100 Iranian student’s and100 Swedish students. The result revealed that higher academic stress was related to lower subjective well-being and more social anxiety.

The academic stress and an adolescent distress investigated through semi structured Interviews were conducted to find their perceptions of academic stress and distress Sample consisted of 24 students. Result revealed that parents high expectations for, comparison their children with other students, put force on their children, which cause upset in adolescent (Rao, 2009).

Aug and Huan (2006) explored the relationship between academic stress suicidal ideation and gloominess among Asian adolescents. Sample consisted of 1108 students result exposed that an important connection among academic pressure depression and suicidal ideation.

  • 1.4.3 Academic Achievement.

Pteiss and Franov (2006) conducted a research to find out the relationship between academic achievement and depressive symptoms. Sample consisted 635 high school students and result showed that a significant negative relationship between academic achievement and depressive symptoms in high school children.

Through Meta Analysis Aad,et al. (2015)   studied parental involvement and academic achievement consisted of 37 studies in primary and secondary schools based on 2000 and 2013 passage of time. The results showed that the parental involvement most associated to high achievement. The strongest relations are present while the Families consisted of high academic expectations for their children build up and continue communication with them about school activities and help them to develop learning behavior.

Chen, Dunne & Han (2006) investigated the relationship connecting perceived parenting style, goal orientations and academic achievement between Chinese students. Survey method was used and the 339 university students were included. The outcome showed that perceived authoritative parenting was associated to positively related to their academic success and pessimistically related with escaping goals.

Calaguas and  Dizon (2011) explored the idea that teacher parents expectations as sources of academic stress among college freshmen. Sample consisted 597college freshmen Academic Expectations Stress Inventory (AESI) used to evaluate the potential of parents teachers and prospect of self.  The result indicate that male and female college freshmen differed to received parents and teachers’ expectations, self-expectations and academic expectations in common.

  • 1.4.4 Relationship between study variables

Grossman, Mckearin and strein (2011) investigated the connection among parental expectations and the educational attainment on school going children. Sample was consisted 502 students and used Academic Self Concept and asked question to the parents how expect their child future, ECLS-K used to assess the parent’s education socioeconomic status. The consequences discovered that the parental expectations had not result on student’s achievement.

Liu and Lu (2009) examined on relationship between academic stress and depression in achiness high school students. Sample consisted of 368 students and result revealed academic stress that positive relationship with depression.

Mahigir, Khanehkeshi and Karimi (2012) conducted the study to examine the relationship of academic stress, depression and self-efficacy with academic achievement among high school students. Sample consisted of 120 high school students and result revealed that there is a significant relationship between academic stress and academic, achievement depression and academic achievement and self-efficacy and academic performance.

1.5 Indigenous researches

Rafiqe (2012) studied the relationship between academic stress and attitude towards suicide in science and arts students. Sample consisted of 100 male students and use Educational Stress Scale for Adolescents (ESSA) and Attitude towards Suicide Scale (ATSC). Results showed that significant relationship between academic stress and attitude towards suicide in students. It was finding that high academic stress has negative effect on the student’s health which related to destructive behavior, health related problem and suicide.

Sohial(2013) examined the connection among stress and educational performance and also find source of stress, levels of stress and cope strategies in students. Sample consisted of 250 students. Results exposed that superior levels of stress are linked with low academic     presentation.

Likewise Kanwal (2009) examine the association linking condition trait anxiety and exterior stress in relative to academic workload. A sample consisted of 100 students and result indicate that a important association among state feature anxiety in students and perceived strain in relation to academic work load.

Shah, Hasan, Malik and Sareramaredy (2010) investigated the relationship between perceived stress, source of stress and severity of stress in Pakistan medical school students. A sample consisted of 200 students and result showed that a negative relationship between academic performance and perceived stress.

The potential difference in look of anger and apparent stress in youth with nuclear and joint kin system was explore by Zulfiqar (2013) Sample consisted of 100 adolescents both boys and girls. Aggression was calculated by Aggression Scale and Perceived stress was assess by Perceived Stress Scale. The results exposed no significant divergence in appearance of aggression and perceived stress in adolescents with nuclear and joint family system. No significant relationship is found between expression of anger and perceived stress the results recommend no important sex difference in perceived stress and look of aggression (Zulfiqar, 2013).

Noreen (2013) investigated the relationship of self-efficacy and self-regulated learning strategies with student’s academic achievement. Sample consisted of 100 Masters Students. Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire was use to evaluate self-regulated learning strategies and self-efficacy. Academic accomplishment of students was measured with percentage of inscription obtain in last final exam. The results revealed that there was optimistic relationship between self-efficacy and academic achievement in students and also positive relationship of self-regulated knowledge strategy with academic triumph. Gender differences were not found in self-efficacy and academic achievement.

1.6 Summary of the literature review

All the above literature showed that the parental expectations influence the children’s life in various ways. In the present circumstances the competition of the study increases very rapidly and all the parents desired to gain the children’s success in the study field. So, the parents emphasized their children to work hard and also appreciate to choose the study field according to their choice. As now a day’s  medical, engineering, and technology field getting progress day by day therefore most of the parents desired for their children to study these particular fields whether the child is interested in these fields or not. When their children do not fulfill their parent’s expectations they feel stress and this stress also influences their academic achievement. As high school students are very young and very concern about their study therefore they feel much stress that effect their study and health as literature has described those point of view. Dunne et al (2012) explored the idea that young students faced stress related to own study and if this stress is rigorous and extended that have most important effect on health about and wellbeing of students. The stress linked with family, school and peers relations (Sun, Dun, Hou, & Xu, 2011).

1.7 Rationale of the study

            Present research aims to find out the role of parental expectations and academic stress on academic achievement in high school students. Now a days because of tough competition of successes in study field all parents wished for that their child do best and they develop extraordinary expectations with their without even realizing that their expectations lead their child to academic stress. Parents do not know about the advantage and disadvantage of their extraordinary expectations. Because of parental expectations most of the children gave up their dreams and choose their subjects according to parental wish which may leads to stress ultimately towards. This research findings will help to understanding that parental expectation effects on academic stress and academic achievement. The fining of this research will beneficial for the parents about advantage and disadvantage of their expectations.

1.8 Objective

  • To determine the relationship between parental expectation, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students.
  • To determine the predictive strength of parental expectation and academic stress for academic achievement in high school students.
  • To explore gender difference across parental expectation, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students.

1.9 Hypothesis

  • There is likely to be a relationship between parental expectation, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students.
  • Parental expectations and academic stress are likely to predict academic achievement in high school students.
  • Boys and Girls are likely to be different across parental expectation, academic stress and academic achievement.

Chapter 2


2.1 Research Design

It is a correlation study with cross sectional research design.

2.2 Sample

Purposive sample of 200 students with academic achievement of above average(80%-above), average(60%-79%) and below average (below-59%). Students including 100 students of 10thgrade(sciences and computer sciences) and 100 students of 12thgrade (premedical group and pre engineering group) were drawn from 2 public and 2 private sector school and colleges of Lahore.

2.2.1 Inclusion criteria.

Only the Science, Computer science, pre medical group and pre engineering group students were included.

  • Students of 10th grade and 12th grade were included.
  • Students were included whom grades were above average, average and below above average.
  • Only those students were included whose both parents were alive.

2.2.2 Exclusion criteria.

  • Humanities/ Arts and commerce group not included.
  • Students of 11th grade and 9th grade not included.
  • The students were not including whose were not living with their both parents.

Table 1

Demographic Characteristics of Sample (N=200).

Characteristics f (%) M (SD)
Age(13-19 years) 16.64 (121)
      Boys 100 (50)
      Girls 100 (50)
      10th 100 (50)
      12th 100 (50)
Subjects groups
School groups
      Science 50 (25)
     Computer science 50 (25)
College groups
    Premedical 50 (25)
    Pre engineering 50 (25)
Academic achievements of students
   Above average (80% – above) 70 (35)
    Average (60% -79%) 64 (32)
    Below average (below-59%) 66 (33)
Family system
   Joint 85 (42.5)
   Nuclear 115 (57.5)
Father age (32-55 years) 43.78 (4.97)
Father education
   Illiterate 4 (2.0)
   1 to 10th  grade 52 (26.0)
    FA 22 (11.0)
    BA 53 (26.5)
   MA 69 (34.5)
Father occupation
  Government 93 (46.5)
   Private 35 (17.5)
   Self  employed 72 (36)
Father monthly income 38520.00(14466.72)
Mother age (29-50 years) 39.34 (5.12)
Mother education
   Illiterate 14 (7)
   1 to 10th  grade 96 (48)
    FA 29 (14.5)
    BA 36 (18)
    MA 25 (12.5)
Mother occupation
    House wives 146 (73)
    Government 30 (15)
    Private 15 (7.5)
    Self employed 9 (4.5)
Mother monthly income 6230.08 (12063.32)
Total family income 44750.08(20863.65)

2.3 Operational Definition of Variables

  • 2.3.1 Parental Expectations

It is determined by the scores obtained by an individual on parental expectations scale (Wang & Hepner, 2002)

  • 2.3.2 Academic Stress

Academic stress is defined as the five factors that is pressure from study, worry about grades, despondency, self expectation and workload (Sun, Dunne, Hou, &Xu, 2011).

  • 2.3.3Academic Achievement

Academic Achievement would be determined by previous marks obtained in 9th and 11th grade. It would be denoted as below average (59% -below) average (60%-79%) and above average (80% and above).

2.4 Measures

Following three questionnaires were used for assessment purpose:

  1. Demographic information questionnaire
  2. Living-up-to parental expectations inventory(LPEI)
  3. Educational Stress Scale for adolescents(ESSA)
  • 2.4.1 Living-up-to Parental Expectations Inventory (LPEI)

The Living-up-to Parental Expectations Inventory (LPEI) was developed by Wang and Heppner (2002) was employed to assess the perceived parental expectation that the students perceived .The Living-up-to Parental Expectations Inventory was developed from an interview with Taiwanese students. The Living-up-to Parental Expectations Inventory comprise of 32 items, in which there are three factors: personal maturity and dating concern academic achieving concerns for each item. All of these factors were asked from the participants in each item. In the first item they were asked to rated “how strong do you currently perceive the expectations from your parents. Wang and Heppner (2002) assessed the effect of parental expectation and psychological distress on Taiwanese college students. They reported that students have high level of psychological distress that has high LPEI scores, as it cut off score was 71.

  • 2.4.2 Steps in translation of the scale

The Educational stress scale for adolescents was translated English language into Urdu.

There are four steps in all the procedure of translation forward translation, reviewed of forward translation, backward translation and review of the backward translation.

2.5.2 Step 1: Froward translation

Forward translation procedure was adopted first, and in this procedure scales were translated from English to Urdu by giving it to a person who is fluent in two languages (English and Urdu). There were two professionals of entireness of the Punjab Institutes of Mental Health. The purpose to choose entireness was that they had excellent perfectionist in Urdu and English language. The entireness was requested to translate every scale items from English to Urdu with special focus on content of both versions that there should be equivalence between both versions.

2.5.3 Step 2: Evaluation of translated items by researchers

Supervisor and researcher verbatim examined the translated items in Urdu and measures equivalence of content between English and Urdu versions. In this process researcher focus on the checking all the meaning of the content and concluded that both versions translation were related with each other.

2.5.4 Step3: Back translation

To check the validity of Urdu translations it was translated back in to English language. Two M.Phil students from the Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab were requested to back translation of the given the translated versions. They were requested to translate the Urdu versions into English.

2.5.5 Step4: Evaluations of the back ward translated items

Supervisor and researchers verbatim examined the translated items in English and assessed items content equivalence between translated and original version. The purpose of this discussion was to compare the translated version with original scale and to ensure the accuracy of translation. Some changes were made (formatting of items sentences and revision of item sentences) after consent of supervisor and researchers after the discussion. A final version of the scale was developed after this step was accomplished.

2.5.6 Step Five: Try out

Try out study was follow out to make ensure correct translation and validity of the scale. The scale was given sample of 20 students with age of the 13-18 years. Sample was contains the criteria of 10th grade and 12th grade students. The convenient sampling technique was used in try out study. There were 10 boys and 10 girls in the sample. The scale was given to students when they have free time or in their free time. For the administration of PES consent was taken from college and from parents. Sample was divided in two parts. Half of the sample was given English version of the scale first and then Urdu version to sample after getting English version back from them. Other half sample was given Urdu version of the scale first and then English version. English version was given to the sample when they complete the Urdu version. Pearson correlation of original and translated version measured using SPSS it was .75 and α .85.

2.6 Educational stress scale for adolescents (ESSA)

The scale Educational stress scale for adolescents (ESSA) used to measure academic stress for adolescents developed by Sun, Dunne, Hou, and Xu in (2011) The scale comprise of the16 items measuring five factors of academic stress that is pressure from study, worry about grades, despondency, self expectations and workload. It was five point likert scale measure. Participants were asked to rate on five point likert scale ranging from 1(strongly disagree) to 5(strongly agree). In this higher scores indicating greater stress, the cut off score was 50.The reliability and validity of the tool was found to be acceptable. Cronbach’s alpha for the ESSA scale was .81 representative good internal consistency .The test retest reliability was (.78).

2.7 Demographic Information Questionnaire

Demographic information questionnaire has consisted of information regarding age, gender, family income, education, previous obtained marks etc

2.8 Procedure

For the sake of data collocations at first present the authority letter to the director of institute of applied psychology to get her permission to collect the data for the research purpose. Secondly’ the principals of public and private school and colleges of Lahore were contacted for permission to collect data from their students. After getting permission, principals would be requested to provide the previous record of Lahore board examination of their 9th and 11th grade students. Data was collected after parental consent. Later than students were divided into above average, average and below average grade according to set criteria on their marks it was denoted as below average (59% and below),average (60%-79%) and above average (89% and above). After then the researcher introduced herself in front of the class and given the questionnaire to the class. The whole participants were informed about the nature of the research through written consent. Any other question by students was entering trained by researcher. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes were taken by the participants to complete the questionnaire. After completing the questionnaire by the participants, the questionnaires were taken back and the participants were thanked for their cooperation. Overall 200 participants with 100 boys and 100 girls, and meeting the selection criteria were included in the research. After completing the data collection prepared an SPSS data sheet in which all the collected data was entered to different quantitative analysis and interpretation was done.

2.9 Ethical Consideration

  • Prior permission was sought from the concern authority for data collocation (Appendix-A).
  • Informed consent was taken from participants and they were brie fed about the certain features of the research (Appendix-B).
  • Assessment tools were used with consent of author of tools. A copy of emailing conversation was attached in appendices (Appendix-C).
  • Confidentiality of information and anonymity of the participants were maintained.
  • The results were accurately represented.

Chapter 3


The current research aimed to explore the relationship between parental expectations, academic stress and academic achievements in high school students. Following  analysis was performed :descriptive analysis for the demographic variables, education stress consist of five subscales, pressure from study, study work load, worry about grades, self-expectations stress, study despondency and the inventory of parental expectations the subscales are personal maturity, academic achievement, dating concerns. Pearson product moment correlation analysis were run to assessing the relationship between parental expectations , academic stress and academic achievements also used regression analysis to assess predictive strength academic achievement on parental expectations and academic stress. Independent sample t-test was used to assess, the gender difference. In order to get the internal consistency of scales alpha coefficient was also obtained in addition.

Table 2

Descriptive Statistics and reliability Coefficient (α) of Study Variables for High School Students (N=200).

Variables K M(SD) Min Max α
Parental expectations inventory 32 71.43(17.13) 39 124 .83
Personal maturity 16 33.22(10.26) 16 70 .79
Academic achievement 9 19.29 (5.92) 9 44 .55
Dating concerns 7 18.92 (6.14) 8 38 .71
Educational stress scale 16 48.82 (6.40) 19 76 .62
Pressures from study 4 12.84(2.69) 4 41 .22
Study work load 3 9.60 (1.53) 4 12 .51
Worry about grades 3 8.73 (2.24 ) 3 12 .77
Self expectations stress 3 8.80 (1.96) 3 12 .63
Self despondency 3 8.84 (2.02) 3 29 .31

Note: K= Number of Items

Table indicated that the adequate internal consistency of the scales.

Table 3

Correlation between the Dimensions of Parental Expectation, Educational Stress and Academic Achievements in High School Students (N=200).

Variables   2 3 4 5 6 7  8 9 10 11
1.Prenatal expectations scale .85** .85** .53** .15* -.01 .01 .16* .21** .08 -.03
 2.Personal maturity _ .76** .09 .25** .07 .05 .37** .20** .05 -.08
3.Academic achievement _ _ .29** .22** .01 .09 .25** .23** .14**  .01
4.Dating concerns _ _ _ -.14* -.14* -.14* .-38** .05 -.01 .04
5.Education stress scale _ _ _ _ .67** .59** .69** .55** .49** .01
6. Pressures from study _ _ _ _ _ .20** .30** .17* .15*  .05
7.Study work load _ _ _ _ _ _ .38** .31** .11 -.04
8.Worry about grades _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .21** .18** -.05
9.Self expectations stress _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .06 .06
10.Self despondency _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .01
11.Academc achievement percentage _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Personal maturity is negatively correlated with academic achievement and the positively correlated with (worry about grades and self -expectation stress) where- as academic achievement was positively correlated with (dating concerns, worry about grades, self expectation stress, self despondency) Dating concerns was negatively correlated with (pressure from study, study work load and worry about grades). As for as education stress scale is concerned, Pressure from study positively correlated with (study work load, worry about grades, self expectation stress and self despondency) and study work load positively correlated with worry about grades and self expectation stress worry about grades positively correlated with self expectations stress and self despondency. Both parental expectations and academic stress reveled non significance relationship with academic achievement.

Table 3

 Simple Regression showing effect of Parental Expectation, Academic Stress and Academic Achievement in High School Students (N=200)

Predictors         Academic achievement
  Β      p CI
Parental expectations
     Personal maturity -.15 .12 [-.47,.05]
    Academic achievement .07 .45 [-.29,.64]
    Dating concerns .02 .73 [-.30,.43]
Academic stress
    Pressure from study .06 .37 [-.41,1.08]
    Sstudy work load -.07 .32 [-2.09,.70]
    Worry about grades -.01 .89 [-1.21,1.06]
    Self expectations stress .04 .21 [-.38,1.70]
    Study despondency -.00 .97 [-.98,.95]
R2 .17
F .68
∆R2 .02

Note: CI= Class Interval

According to the results parental expectations and academic stress proved non significant predictors of academic achievement.

Table 4

Gender Wise Difference comparing Parental Expectation, Academic Stress and Academic Achievement in High School Students (N=200).      





  95% Cl Cohen’s d
Variables M SD M SD T P LL UL
Prenatal expectations inventory 68.72 15.35 74.15 18.42 -2.26 .02 -10.1 -.69 -0.32
Personal maturity 32.45 10.17 34.00 10.34 -1.06 .28 -4.41 1.13 -0.15
Academic achievement 18.26 5.16 20.32 6.46 -2.49 .01 -3.69 -.42 -0.35
Dating concern 18.01 4.69 19.83 7.22 -2.11 .03 -3.51 -.12 -0.29
Education stress scale 48.47 6.72 49.17 6.07 -.77 .44 -2.48 1.08 -0.10
Pressure from study 12.75 3.38 12.94 1.77 -.49 .62 -.94 .56 -0.06
Study work load 9.61 1.54 9.60 1.53 .046 .96 -.41 .43 0.00
Worry about grades 8.55 2.20 8.91 2.29 -1.13 .25 -.98 .26 -0.16
Self expectations stress 8.76 1.85 8.84 2.08 -.28 .77 -.63 .47 -0.03
Study despondency 8.08 1.27 8.88 2.57 -.27 .78 -.64 .48 -0.03
Academic achievement in percentage 70.55 13.21 69.85 13.67 .369 .71 -3.04 4.45 0.05

Note : df= 198

The table shows that significant difference between girls and boys regarding perceived parental expectations. The girls perceived more parental expectations rather than boys. Also significance difference on the subscale of academic achievement and dating concerns girls again showed high mean scores both subscales. There was no significant gender difference on the education stress.

3.1 Summary of the findings

  • Findings reveal that significant relationship found between the dimensions of the parental expectations and academic stress scale.
  • There was non-significant relationship detected between parental expectations, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students.
  • Parental expectations and academic stress proved non-significant predictor of academic achievement for present sample.
  • Findings also revealed that significant gender difference as girls perceived more parental expectations than boys.

Chapter 4


The aim of the current research was to find out the relationship between the parental expectations, academic stress and academic achievement in high school students.

The first finding of the research revealed that parental expectations and academic stress have not significance relationship with academic achievement but they had significant relationship between subscales of scales that showed the significance relationship. Sun, Dunne, Hou and Xu (2011) have investigated factor related with educational stress and influences of family and peers relations. The result showed that less school concentration, the location of school, poor study grades, gender, age and many emotional conflicts with peers and the dominant behavior of the teacher fully correlates and mainly related study behavior. These findings indicated that parental expectations are not only factor related with perceived educational stress.

Lin, Lin, Wang, and Chen (2008) explored the causes of the academic stress. They qualitative study through in depth interview different causes of the academic stress like frustrations related problems and Adjustment related problem provoke the academic stress. They divided this causes in four groups stress related to test score, stress from teacher related work, stress related to own self and peers related stress. Although present study results contrary to the hypothesis but it can be speculated that present. Sample academic achievement is not directly affected by parental expectations.

The subscale of academic achievement was positively related to dating concerns, stress over evaluations and self desire stress. Ang and Huan (2006) reported that self expectations and expectations of parents were the main reason of stress among the students.

Dating concerns was negatively significantly correlated with push from study, study burden, assignment work and worry of being evaluated in the study field. The relationship was negatively correlated because the dating concerns phenomena are not popular in Pakistani cultural context and the children of the present cultural not sure more about dating concerns.

The second subscale of education stress as: (pressure from study) is positively correlated with (study work burden, stress over evaluations and grades, self desire anxiety and self gloom) and study work load is positively correlated with (stress over evaluations and self desire stress) and worry about grades is positively correlated with self expectations stress and self despondency.

Opdenakker and Damme, (2007)  examined the idea that the children’s extreme concern about their education and their stress related to their own study is rigorous and extended that have a most important effect on wellbeing and prosperity of the understudies or students. They have negative impacts like tension, sadness and behavioral issues or youth suicide. The results indicated that study related stress provoke the negative impact in the students.

The significant difference between girls and boys in perceived parental expectations is that girls perceived more parental expectations rather than boys. Calaguas and Dizon (2011) explored the idea that a teacher-parents expectation is a source of academic stress among college freshmen. The result indicated that male and female college freshmen differed to received parents and teachers’ expectations, self expectations and academic expectations in common.

Generally for girls parents have high expectation regarding their studies as compare with boys, and this gender contrast gets to be clear as right on time as 6th grade (Entwisle, Alexander, & Olson, 2005).

Also significance difference was found on the subscale of academic achievement and dating concerns, girls again showed high mean scored on both subscales. There was no significant difference on the education stress but the girls have high mean scored on this scale all over results showed high mean scored by the girls but the boys showed highly mean scores on academic achievement marks percentage.

Lannstrome (2009) examined relationship between academic stresses, social anxiety and subjective well-being of student. The result revealed that higher academic stress was related to lower subjective well-being and more social anxiety.


Results revealed significant relationship between parental expectations and academic stress but not with academic achievements. Parental expectations and academic stress did not predict academic achievement for present sample. Girls respond differently on parental perception inventory as compared to boys.

4.1 Limitations

Several limitations have been noted in the present research

  • Some of the colleges and schools did not give permission to collect data from the students. So convenient sampling was carried out.
  • Participants may show more false positive responses for social desirability and did not give true information.
  • The researcher was not able to control for other natural or surrounding and social elements this makes it hard to reduce impacts.
  • A research limitation includes problem acquiring exact memories of past occasions by participants as required by parental expectations.

4.2 Suggestions

Suggestions as the light of these drawbacks are given for future analysts with respect to enhancement of the research work.

  • The sample size in the research should be large enough to make reliable generalizations.
  • Phenomena under study can be qualitatively explored. Other factors related with academic achievement should be explored.

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  • Zeidner, M. (1998). Sources of academic stress: The case of 1st year Jewish and Arab college   students in Israel. Higher Education, 24, 25-40. doi:10.1007/BF00138616
  • Zulfiqar, M. (2013).Family System, Perceived Stress and Expression of Aggression among Adolescents. (Master thesis). University of the Punjab.

Also see this

Effect of Stress on Academic Performance of Students

Predictors of Persistence in High School Children

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Dr. V.K.Rai October 5, 2018 - 7:07 pm

Who is author of this research paper “The Role of The Parental Expectations and Academic Stress on Academic Achievement in High School Students”

admin October 5, 2018 - 10:19 pm

Please use Bohatala as author for your references.

Hassan Bashir December 17, 2021 - 2:58 am

@Bohalala did you take permission from authors of scales that you use in your research?

Javeria Maqbool February 23, 2023 - 10:52 pm

@Bohatala please share me your scales which are use in this research.


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