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Citation:Desimone, L. (1999). Linking parent involvement with student achievement: Do race and income matter? The Journal of Educational Research, 93(1), 11-30. EJ598248.

This study tests the hypothesis that the relationships between particular types of parent involvement and student achievement differ according to studentsÕ race/ethnicity and family income level. The findings suggested that practices which worked well to support studentsÕ success in some social and cultural contexts may not translate to other contexts. Analysis indicated that although the effects of some partnership practices on student grades and standardized test scores were consistent across all racial and ethnic groups, other relationships between particular partnership practices and student success were significant only for students of certain racial and ethnic groups. For example, school level volunteering was a better predictor of success for White middle class students, while homework help was negatively associated with student achievement over all groups, and father-child discussion was significant at predicting decreased math scores for all groups except Asians. The author used eighth grade Base Year Student and Parent Surveys from the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) data set on mathematics and reading scores and grades. The researcher then analyzed the across-group variation in the relationship between types of parent involvement and childrenÕs learning and achievement. Desimone concluded that more information is needed about what types of parent involvement effectively promote student achievement in diverse families. Since this study, as others using the NELS:88 data set, was a cross-sectional study that could not statistically control for factors such as prior achievement, family involvement, and school practices, it can only be assumed that a relationship exists between parent involvement and student achievement, but one element does not cause the other.

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