Education Journal


2018.第46卷第2期(Vol. 46 No. 2).pp. 1–20


Would Parents’ “Shooting for the Stars” End up “Crying for the Moon”? Alignment of Parent-Child Educational Expectations and Adolescents’ Academic Performance in Hong Kong

相楠、趙永佳(Nan XIANG & Stephen Wing-Kai CHIU)





Deeply influenced by the traditional Chinese culture that respects scholars and the rapid expansion of higher education in recent years, parents in Hong Kong generally hold high expectations for their children’s education. In fact, however, both the shortage of local university places and the parent-child difference in educational expectations are likely to prevent parents from achieving their expectations. To help Hong Kong parents reach their goals, this study aims to answer the following two questions from the perspective of parents. First, facing the fierce competition for university places in Hong Kong, do parents’ way-too-high educational expectations still have positive effects on children’s academic performance? Second, if parents can align their children’s educational expectations with their own, are their expectations more likely to be fulfilled? To answer these questions, we will propose three different hypotheses according to status attainment theory, social cognitive theory, and social capital theory. Then, we will use descriptive statistical methods and multiple linear regression models to analyze the data used in this study (i.e., Panel Study on the Career and Educational Orientations of the Senior High School Students in Hong Kong). The results of data analyses are largely in line with the hypothesis drawn from the social capital theory. Parents’ educational expectations are positively related to their children’s academic performance. When parents’ educational expectations are conditioned, the alignment of parents’ and children’s expectations is likely to have an additional positive effect on academic achievement.

Keywords: educational expectation; social capital; academic achievement