Research Proposal: Parent Involvement and Student Achievement

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[. . .] Different measurements were collected as related to academic achievement, adolescent aspirations, and school behavior problems.

In the end, Hill, et al., (2004) found that parental academic involvement showed significant correlations with the strength of aspirations for the future, and school behavioral success. Hill, et al., (2004) found significant correlations between aspirations that arose particularly in middle school remaining throughout high school and contributing towards achievement, especially for students with low socioeconomic status and with parents whose education levels were lower.

One of the primary variables that Hill, et al., (2004)wanted to study was ethnicity; yet, the sample showed a large majority of white students/families (89%). This researcher would like to ensure a wider range of diversity in this category as well as in other important demographic categories. The key will be the selection of participants and the districts from which these participants are selected. This researcher will also screen for significant life events (i.e., moving, trauma, death in the family) and consider its influence on the variables. Further, other important variables are the presence of student motivation (as determined by their own perceptions), student perceptions of competence, self-esteem, efficacy, and self-assessment of their own attitudes and perceptions of their own behavior (contributing to social control).

Hill et al., (2004) noted particularly that a mother's perspective is not the best measurement and they failed to include the possibility of another caregiver being more readily available or knowledgeable like a father, grandmother, aunt, uncle, friend, or foster parent. In the end, it is possible as well that a more objective measurement for social control/behavior would have been more accurate. However, based on this researcher's desire to explore the underlying mechanisms that influence student achievement/success, the best possible variable to measure is students' perceptions of their own behavior, aspirations, support networks, achievement, attitudes, competencies, expectations, etc.… in order to receive the more reliable results for ongoing theory development.

In general, the Hill et al., (2004) study did not accurately assess for student perceptions or consider the nature or strength of these underlying mechanisms. Though, it was not necessarily intended to. However, it also seems to fall short of truly reliable results surrounding the data analyzed from interviews with students, parents, and teachers, written evaluations from teachers, and archival reviews. Although these data are important and potentially valuable, the conclusiveness of the results needs to take more into account.

Further, there may be concealed variables in this study, which the researcher may not be aware of all the influences within the teen's life, such as that of a colleague or other family member; independent studying that teen may do, influence from particular media, etc. Even though the researchers were careful to interview the teacher who was most familiar with that particular individual, there are many aspects of a student's life that teacher and parent are unaware of, even that student himself may be unaware of or prefer not to reveal.

On a much larger sample of children (6,400 Americans, 14-18 years old) (Steinberg, 1992) conducted within the same two years that the previous researchers had started their study (1987-1988), Steinberg et al. (1992) found that parental involvement is more likely to promote adolescent school success as long as this academic involvement occurred in the context of an authoritative home environment.

This study was structured so as to examine long-term parenting style, including parental academic involvement with school performance in a sample of high school youth. Nine high schools from Wisconsin and North California were used in this study (Steinberg, 1992). Diversity was achieved as far as possible between different communities, ethnic population, family structures, and socioeconomic status levels. Self-report surveys were filled out by the students on two days of survey administration during the schools years of 1987-1988 and of 1988-1989 (Hill, 2004). In this case, I agree with the emphasis on self-reporting but the analytical framework, again, needs to be much stronger for truly measuring student perceptions as that is where the core of the mechanisms emerges.

The standard active consent form for ethical procedures was not used here since studies have shown that it would screen out individuals with possibly disengaged parents and it was precisely these individuals whom the researchers wished to include. Their procedure, therefore, was to request active consent from adolescents and passive consent from parents [END OF PREVIEW]

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Parent Involvement and Student Achievement.  (2011, May 14).  Retrieved August 20, 2019, from

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"Parent Involvement and Student Achievement."  14 May 2011.  Web.  20 August 2019. <>.

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"Parent Involvement and Student Achievement."  May 14, 2011.  Accessed August 20, 2019.