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Title:ParentsÕ management of their children'sÕ education within the home, at school, and in the community: An examination of African-American families living in poverty
Author:Gutman, L. M., & McLoyd, V. C.
Resource Type:Journal Article
The Urban Review, 32(1)

pp. 1-24
ERIC #:EJ604373 (click to view this publication's record on the ERIC Web site)
Education Level:Elementary, Middle
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

This studyÕs objective is to compare and contrast parenting strategies and relate them to high and low-achievement. It examines parentsÕ management within the home, at school, and in the community. Results indicated families of both high and low achievers recognized the importance of their childÕs education. They used very different strategies for helping their children overcome economic difficulties in order to reach those educational goals. Within the home, parents of high achievers used more specific strategies to help their children with schoolwork and had conversations that were more supportive. Parents of low achievers provided more help on the homework. At school, parents of high achievers were more involved but had different reasons for being involved. Parents of high achievers frequently initiated the interaction, while parents of low achievers only visited the school in response to the schoolÕs request, usually precipitated by their childrenÕs misbehavior. Parents of high achievers encouraged, organized, and supervised educational opportunities for their children in the community. They also were resourceful and maintained links with external supports and kept children busy in community activities, whereas parents of low achievers tended to isolate their children. The data were collected using an open-ended survey of 97 reduced-fee and free-lunch African American families from elementary and middle schools in one school district in South Eastern Michigan. Researchers defined "high achievement" as having grade point averages (GPAs) in the top quartile; "low achievement" was having GPAs in the bottom quartile. The authors suggest several strategies parents and schools can implement to help African American students in poverty improve achievement, including that parents initiate contact with the school regularly to check on their childÕs progress and that schools provide parents training in ways to help children with homework and prepare for specific classroom lessons.

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