Parenting styles have significant influence on children’s academic motivation. In a sample composed of 226 Chinese 10th grade students and at least one respective parent (147 fathers and 165 mothers), we examined the relationship between parenting styles and students’ academic motivation by applying the self-determination theory (SDT)’s multidimensional perspective of motivation. Students’ academic motivation was assessed directly within the school environment. A questionnaire used to assess parenting styles was administered to the fathers and/or mothers of the students within the home. A path-analysis indicated, firstly, that mothers’ authoritative parenting styles were related to enhanced intrinsic motivation and identified regulation. Secondly, mothers’ authoritarian parenting styles were negatively related to introjected regulation and external regulation. Lastly, both mothers’ and fathers’ permissive parenting styles were positively related to external regulation.