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Parental Involvement and Educational Achievement

Geert Driessen, Frederik Smit, Peter Sleegers. British Educational Research


Journal. Oxford: Aug 2005. Vol. 31, Iss. 4; pg. 509

Abstract (Summary)
Parental involvement is seen as an important strategy for the advancement of the
quality of education. The ultimate objective of this is to expand the social and
cognitive capacities of pupils. In addition, special attention is paid to the children
of low educated and ethnic minority parents. Various forms of both parental and
school initiated involvement are examined. On the one hand, the connections
between a number of characteristics of parents and schools such as the social
and ethnic background of the parents and the composition of the school
population will be examined. On the other hand, the connections between a
number of outcome measures such as the language and mathematics skills of
the pupils will be examined. Data will be drawn from the large scale Dutch
PRIMA (primary education) cohort study, which contains information on more
than 500 schools and 12,000 pupils in the last year of primary school and their
parents. An important finding is that predominantly schools with numerous
minority pupils appear to provide a considerable amount of extra effort with
respect to parental involvement, but that a direct effect of such involvement
cannot be demonstrated

Robert Hughes: Whether you use children's grades, standardized test scores, or
dropout rates, children whose parents divorce generally have poorer scores.
These results have been found quite consistently throughout a variety of
research studies over the past three decades. Importantly, children's actual
performance on tests consistently shows this difference, but results based on
teacher or parent reports are less likely to show this difference. We believe that
both parents and teachers often underestimate the difficulties a child may be
having in school or may not recognize the problems.

In some cases, it appears that children's difficulties with school may be caused
more by their behavior than their intellectual abilities. The pattern may be
somewhat different for boys and girls. Boys are more likely to be aggressive and
have problems getting along with their peers and teachers. These problems may
lead them to spend less time in school or on their schoolwork. Girls, on the other
hand, are more likely to experience depression, which may interfere with their
ability to concentrate on schoolwork or to put as much effort into their work.
School success has long-term implications for children's success in life, and so it
is important to find ways to support children from divorced families.

These children are more likely to have low self-esteem and feel depressed. Children who grow up
in divorced families often have more difficulties getting along with siblings, peers, and their
parents. Also, in adolescence, they are more likely to engage in delinquent activities, to get
involved in early sexual activity, and to experiment with illegal drugs. In adolescence and young
adulthood, they are more likely to have some difficulty forming intimate relationships and
establishing independence from their families.