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Title:Toward a model of Latino parent advocacy for educational change
Author:Levine, E. B., & Trickett, E. J.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 20(1/2)

pp. 121-137
Education Level:Elementary, Middle, High
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This article describes a theoretical model for understanding the involvement of Latino parents. Through interviews with 14 low-income Latino parents of children in Boston area public schools, researchers explored the parentsÕ goals for their childrenÕs education, strategies they used to support these goals, and the outside factors and personal characteristics that influenced their involvement. Parent advocacy, defined by the researchers as Òparent strategies for addressing school-related concerns,Ó emerged as a critical component of involvement. Three kinds of factors affected parent advocacy: a) parent contexts (such as life demands and motivations for involvement), b) school contexts (such as perceived discrimination and school responsiveness), and c) involvement processes associated with advocacy (such as monitoring childrenÕs school performance). One important dimension of preparing for advocacy was deciding whether to act individually or as a collective group. They also found that ÒparentsÕ advocacy efforts led to diverse school responsesÓ and these responses affected future advocacy efforts. Parent interviewees were recruited through contacts with community organizations and schools, and through recommendations by other parents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in Spanish. Transcripts were analyzed using the grounded theory method, conducted in three stages (open coding, axial coding, and selective coding) by an analysis team of three people. This article suggests a model that can help practitioners understand the ways various dimensions of parental involvement can either support or hinder low-income Latino parentsÕ advocacy efforts. It is not clear from the article whether the researchers answered all of their original research questions.

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