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Citation:Muller, C. (1993). Parent involvement and academic achievement: An analysis of family resources available to the child. In B. Schneider & J. S. Coleman (Eds.), Parents, their children, and schools (pp. 77-113). San Francisco, CA: Westview Press, Inc.

This study compares how a range of parent involvement activities at home, in the community and at school, relate to student performance, and how family resources may create constraints or opportunities for parent involvement. Based on an analysis of a national sample of over 10,000 secondary school students, the researcher found that home-based forms of involvement were most strongly associated with test scores, while forms of involvement that required parent ties to the school or community were most strongly associated with student grades. The researcher used mothersÕ labor force participation as a variable to examine family resources. She found that parents in families in which mothers worked part-time tended to engage at a higher rate in all forms of involvement, and their children tended to get slightly higher test scores compared with children whose mothers worked full-time. Mothers employed part-time and those not employed had children who received higher grades. Muller considered 5 home-based forms of involvement and 5 school- and community-based. Academic performance was measured using reading and mathematics achievement test scores and grades in four subject areas (English, mathematics, science, and social studies). The data for the regression analyses came from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS:88), a long-term and large-scale national study that collected data from participating students and their parents in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade. These findings suggest that both forms of parent involvement have an important role to play in supporting student performance, although they may have an impact in different areas of achievement. In addition, the findings indicate that mothers are often faced with having to juggle parenting, time, money, and a career. The researcher suggests that more flexible work hours for parents might allow for and encourage them to become more involved in their childrenÕs education at home and at school in ways that will help support childrenÕs learning. The reader should know that this is not an easy-to-read article and since it includes little detail about the methodology followed, it is not entirely possible to determine the reliability of the results.

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