Reducing homework stress by increasing adoption of need-supportive practices: Effects of an intervention with parents

Angelica Moè, Idit Katz, Rinat Cohen, Marianna Alesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Homework is widely recognized as a source of stress for both parents and children, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. This study tested the hypothesis that the frustration of the basic psychological needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness is the main source of stress and that satisfying these needs should reduce stress and lead to more positive outcomes. Study 1 assessed the associations between parental and child need frustration, homework stress and parental adoption of need-thwarting practices (n = 171 parent/child dyads). Study 2 tested the effectiveness of a four-session parental training (n = 55) program focused on helping parents increase their need-supportive practices. Study 1 confirmed that the more parents experience homework as need-frustrating, the more their children report stress. This finding was mediated by the stress the parents themselves experience, parents' tendency to adopt need-thwarting practices, and the child's experience of homework as need-frustrating. Study 2 showed that a brief intervention aimed at supporting parental need satisfaction reduced parental and child stress and improved parental adoption of need-supportive practices. The theoretical and educational implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101921
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Homework stress
  • Need frustration
  • Need-satisfaction practices
  • Need-thwarting practices
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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