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Title:ParentsÕ at-home and at-school academic involvement with young adolescents
Author:Shumow, L., & Miller, J. D.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of Early Adolescence, 21(1)

pp. 68-91
Education Level:Middle
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This study investigates how at-home and at-school parental academic involvement is associated with young adolescentsÕ academic outcomes. It also considers whether several student and parent characteristics make a difference in the level of parent involvement at home and at school. A series of statistical regression analyses revealed that parental involvement in both settings was associated with better academic outcomes. However, each type of involvement impacted different outcomes. At-home involvement contributed more to positive school orientation (or disposition), while at-school involvement contributed more to higher grade point average. Neither type was associated with higher achievement test scores. The study also found that in the home, fathers and mothers were involved equally, but at school, mothers were more involved. As parentsÕ educational level increased, they were more involved overall. However, the gap between mothersÕ and fathersÕ involvement at school widened as educational level increased. The gender of the student did not make a difference in the level of parent involvement; however, the degree of past student success did. Parents of successful students were more involved at school while parents of struggling and average students provided more help at home. The data for the random, national sample of 60 middle school students used in this study came from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY). As part of LSAY, parents reported how much time they spent helping their child with homework during a typical school week, the number of school visits made during a school year to discuss their childÕs academic progress, their level of involvement in the school PTO, and their degree of attentiveness to local school issues. Students were characterized as struggling, average, or successful based on questionnaires and achievement tests administered at the beginning of the LSAY study. Seventh grade point average, eighth grade math and science achievement test scores, and degree of school orientation (as reported by the student in eighth grade) were used to measure student academic outcomes. This study makes important contributions toward a clearer understanding of parent involvement at home and at school, and their relationship to academic outcomes, particularly in the middle grades. In addition, it provides insight into parent and student characteristics that may affect what parent involvement looks like. The reader should note that although the LSAY data were collected across several years, the data used in this study were collected in 1987, much of which is based on self-reporting by parents and students.

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