Parental care and intrusiveness as predictors of the abilities-achievement gap in adolescence

Ruth Feldman, Daniel Guttfreund, Hannoch Yerushalmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we examined relations between adolescents' perception of parental care and intrusiveness and the abilities-achievement gap. Cognitive abilities and academic achievement were assessed for 200 Israeli 10th graders. Representations of maternal and paternal care and intrusiveness and externalizing and internalizing symptoms were self-reported. Gender differences were found for the abilities-achievement gap. Boys' achievement in mathematics and language was significantly lower than could be expected from abilities in these domains. Representations of maternal care predicted achievement while aptitude and socioemotional symptoms were controlled and moderated the relations of abilities and achievement. Paternal representations were unrelated to abilities or achievement. Among boys, maternal intrusiveness had a unique contribution to the prediction of achievement, above and beyond abilities, socioemotional symptoms, and maternal care. The relevance of the findings to cognitive and attachment perspectives on adolescent achievement is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-730
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998


  • Adolescence
  • Educational attainment
  • Parent-child interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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