The relationship of specific variables to the perceived effectiveness of parental involvement programs

Susan Cheek McLaurin


A study was conducted in a coastal Mississippi school district to identify and define the variables which may influence parental perception of effectiveness of a parental involvement program. The relationship between the criterion variable of parental perception of the effectiveness of parental involvement programs and the set of independent variables, as well as independent relationships to each of the variables of student ethnicity, grade level of student, socioeconomic level of family, student achievement, school size, educational attainment of parent, family size and family type were examined. Various independent relationships between certain independent variable and the criterion variable were also examined. The subjects (parents who had children enrolled in a school within the district) completed the Taking Stock Survey (Henderson and Berla) during August, 1998. Parents rated the performance of the school on five factors shown to have direct correlation with effective parent involvement programs: Outreach, Welcoming, Relationships, Curriculum, and Parenting. Multiple linear regression was used to test the hypotheses of this study. Descriptive and inferential data were obtained. The set of independent variables was related to the set of criterion variables measuring the five parental involvement factors. Grade level, achievement, and family size were independently related to parental involvement. Elementary parents rated each factor higher than middle school and high school parents. Parents with less than high school educational level and parents of high achieving students rated all factors higher than other parents. Two-parent families rated all factors except Outreach higher than other family types. Ratings for all factors did not differ by ethnicity, family size, or socioeconomic level. The findings of this study indicate that specific behaviors practiced by educators are effective in promoting positive perceptions of parental involvement.