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Citation:Griffith, J. (1996). Relation of parental involvement, empowerment, and school traits to student academic performance. Journal of Educational Research, 90(1), 33-41. EJ538470.

This study examines the relationship between parent empowerment and involvement and student academic performance at the elementary school level. It also examines the effects of school characteristics (such as class size) on parentsÕ perceptions of involvement and empowerment and on student academic performance. Researchers hypothesized that parents with children in the same school would show agreement in their perceptions of involvement and empowerment. Using the stateÕs criterion-reference test as a measure of student achievement, the results indicated that schools with higher levels of perceived involvement and empowerment had higher student test scores than those with lower levels. This correlational relationship was positive and significant when other school and student characteristics were accounted for. Results also indicated that parents who had children in the same school showed agreement regarding feelings of involvement and empowerment. Data were collected from 41 elementary schools in a large suburban school district. Over 83% of parents who received surveys returned a completed survey, with a large sample of over 11,000 parents responding. The racial composition of the respondents was representative of the overall population surveyed. Survey items measured parentsÕ perceptions of involvement in school-based activities and their perceptions of empowerment. Empowerment was defined as "the extent to which parents perceived that the school accommodated parentsÕ participation in the schoolÕs activities." There may be a need for some additional clarification about how school-level characteristics and the term "parent empowerment" are conceptualized. It is also important to note that this study examined perceptions of parent involvement and empowerment and does not include data about actual parent participation in school activities. Finally, results should not be generalized to middle or high school settings. This study provides information about correlation between perceived parental involvement and empowerment and student achievement.

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