Dynamic treatment effect of parental control on academic outcomes in high school


Tracey, Marlon; Powell, Marvin; & Holmes, Chanita (2018). Dynamic treatment effect of parental control on academic outcomes in high school. 2018 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


The literature is still divided on the directional effect of too much parental supervision on adolescent academic outcomes. Moreover, no studies have rigorously identified the magnitude of such effect. We examine the effect of parental control during high school on academic outcomes by grade and gender. And unlike existing studies, we allow for a plausible dynamic feedback relation with lagged response effect. That is, we recognize future parental control is affected by interim academic outcomes, which may also affect later academic outcomes. We employ the In-home Add Health data on high-schoolers (n=9,000) at wave I (1995) and wave II (1996); subsequent waves are post-high school. This allows us to estimate the total academic effect of applying parental control for two consecutive grades in high school. We use seven household rules/guidelines to indicate parental behavioral control: weekday and weekend curfews, monitoring friendships, limiting the amount and type of TV shows watched, controlling food choice, and setting guidelines on appropriate clothing. The academic outcomes are transcript GPA for math, English, science, and all subjects, as well as measures of difficulty paying attention in class and completing homework on time, and whether the student aspired to go to college. We control for school-specific fixed effects as well as a rich set of individual and family covariates, and check for sensitivity to unobservables. We expect that exerting high parental control for two successive grades in high school will significantly impact (directly and/or indirectly) academic outcomes at 10-12 grades.

Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2018 Add Health Users Conference


Tracey, Marlon
Powell, Marvin
Holmes, Chanita

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID