Keith, (1992), the purpose of the study is to determine the extent of the influence of parental involvement on eighth grade students' achievement. We also sought to determine the relative importance of more specific components of parental involvement--aspirations, home structure, discussion, or participation in school activities on learning, and whether parental or student perceptions of involvement are more important for learning. Finally, we examined two possible mechanisms by which parental involvement might affect achievement: by increasing the amount of time students spend on homework and by decreasing the amount of time students spend watching week-day television.
Research Questions .
Does parental involvement improve students' academic performance?.
Summation of Research Literature .
American education has rediscovered parental involvement, and the popular press, policy makers, and school administrators have pounced upon parental involvement as the latest panacea for improving school learning. For example, in a recent article in The School Administrator, First Lady Barbara Bush proclaimed that schools need to"Bring parents back to the fold" (1991, p. 48).
Research evidence does indeed suggest that parental involvement may improve students' learning (Epstein, 1984, 1991), but there are many inconsistencies in the research findings (Keith, 1991). A recent review of parental involvement research concluded that the effects of parental involvement may vary with the age of the students studied, with involvement being more effective for elementary than for high school youth. Little research has been conducted with middle school youth. Parental involvement research has used a variety of definitions of parental involvement, concentrating variously on parental aspirations, discussions of schooling and school work, participation in school activities, or a home structure that is oriented towards learning; the effects of parental involvement may also vary depending on the definition used (for a comparison of definitions, see Seginer, 1983).