Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Honors Paper

Degree Name





Dr. Meredith Meyer

First Committee Member

Dr. Cynthia Laurie-Rose

Second Committee Member

Dr. Karen Steigman


Achievement, ADHD, Parent-Child Relationship, Academic Attitudes, COVID-19

Subject Categories

Education | Higher Education | Psychology


The current study investigated the connection between parent-child relationships, academic achievement, and child attitudes in school-aged children both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, I examined relationships among parent- and child-perceived emotional closeness, attitudes toward school, and child achievement in elementary and middle school aged children. The current study examined associations between parent-child relationship factors and academic student outcomes, comparing these associations both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Differences in student outcomes were examined based off of COVID-19 circumstances as well as what level of emotional closeness and interaction the parents and child have. Attitudes and achievement of children were also compared prior to and during the pandemic. Factors were also compared between groups of neurotypical children and those with an ADHD diagnosis. Key findings that emerged include declines in academic achievement and child attitudes toward school during the COVID-19 pandemic. ADHD diagnosis did not interact with these declines, suggesting that children overall (rather than a particularly at-risk group) were negatively affected by the shift to remote learning. Parent- and child-perceived emotional closeness tended to serve as a predictive factor of student outcomes (attitudes and achievement) when in face-to-face schooling, but these relationships were not seen in an online setting.