Becoming self-regulated: Patterns of parenting in the lives of professionals who are highly self-regulated learners

  • Evangelia Tiniakou (Author)
  • Tim Hirschler (Author)
  • Maaike Endedijk (Author)
  • Anoush Margaryan (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Self-regulated learning has become a prominent form of learning, both in the workplace and in educational institutions. Self-regulated learners are able to strategically plan, monitor, evaluate and modify their learning practices and goals. Previous studies revealed school factors which can affect students’ ability to self-regulate their learning.
However, more research is needed in order to identify out-of-school factors which cancontribute to someone becoming a highly self-regulated learner as an adult. One such key factor is parenting style, in particular, parental involvement in and encouragement of children’s learning. The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate patterns of parenting styles in childhood and adolescence of highly self-regulated professionals that might have had an impact on the development of these professionals’ self-regulatory skills. In order to identify such shared factors, their life histories were explored through in-depth biographical interviews (n=39). Parental involvement and especially maternal involvement, parental positive attitudes towards learning and autonomy support and freedom were found to be recurring common experiences in the majority of life histories
of these highly self-regulated learners. Based on our findings, we hypothesise a set of parental style factors that may contribute to the development of self-regulatory learning skills, to be investigated in future research: parental support and encouragement of (i) personal interests, family activities and structured routines; (ii) education and early literacy development; and (iii) independence and freedom of choice.


Self-regulated learning, adult learning, parenting styles, biographical interview, learning in childhood