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Title:Parent involvement in school conceptualizing multiple dimensions and their relations with family and demographic risk factors
Author:Kohl, G. O., Lengua, L. J., & McMahon, R. J.
Resource Type:Journal Article
Journal of School Psychology, 38(6)

pp. 501-523
Education Level:Elementary
Literature type:Research and Evaluation

The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between three family risk factors (parental education level, single-parent status, and maternal depression) and six dimensions of family involvement. The six dimensions include both parent and school-initiated involvement strategies and are based on an analysis of other parent involvement models (Eccles & Harold, 1996; Epstein, 1995; and Grolnick & Slowiaczek, 1994). All three risk factors were significantly and differentially related to different dimensions of parent involvement. Low parental education was associated with lower levels of active involvement in many areas, but not related to the quality of the parent-teacher relationship or the parentÕs endorsement of the school. Depressed mothers were less likely to demonstrate parent involvement in almost every domain except direct parent-teacher contact. Single-parent status was associated with the fewest number of parent involvement factors. No significant differences were found between African American and Caucasian parents. Data were gathered from over 330 participants, selected from four areas of the country, each representing a different cross-section of the American population. Home interviews were conducted with parents in the summer prior to their children starting first grade. Parent and teacher reports were then gathered at the end of the school year, using the Parent-Teacher Involvement Questionnaire (Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group, 1995). This study, with a large, representative sample, provides a new conceptual model of the dimensions of parent involvement and identifies risk factors, such as maternal depression, that can inform the strategies that schools use to involve parents.

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