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Citation:Balli, S. J., Demo, D. H., & Wedman, J. F. (1998). Family involvement with children's homework: An intervention in the middle grades. Family Relations, 47(2), 149-157.

Researchers in this study employ various forms of communication to families to determine its influence on reported levels of family involvement with mathematics homework. They also examine the relationship between family involvement with homework and the student achievement on a mathematics posttest, and the characteristics of families, parent education level, family structure, and family size that may influence family involvement and student achievement. Findings showed that group assignment made a difference in student achievement. Family involvement was greater for Group 2 than for Group 1, but there was mixed evidence regarding differences in family involvement between Groups 2 and 3, based on students' reports on homework assignments. Student prompts involved the teacher coaching the students to ask a family member to be involved with mathematics homework. The three classes were randomly assigned to one of three groups; Group 1 were given no prompts to involve family members, Group 2 were prompted to involve family members, and Group 3 were prompted to involve family members and family members were prompted to be involved. Participants were 74 Caucasian sixth graders (31 boys and 43 girls) and their predominately middle-class families. The same teacher enrolled students in one of three mathematics classes taught. Student prompting was related to significantly higher levels of parental involvement. Parents reported that the teacher's request to sign and return the homework assignment "made us accountable." Although the interventions provided evidence that teacher prompts increased parent involvement with mathematics homework, these higher levels of family involvement are not associated with higher levels of student achievement in this study. Student reports are not reliable sources of data.

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