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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 13 / 102

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friends; parents volunteering at school; parents attending school meetings; and parents

checking their students’ homework (Jeynes 2005, Muller 1995, Weiss 2003, and

Houtenville and Smith-Conway 2008). Due to the magnitude of parental involvement

types that have been evaluated in these studies, it is a somewhat daunting task to

generalize the overall efficacy of parental involvement as it relates to academic

achievement; however, the results of Jeynes’ (2007) meta-analysis of 52 individual

studies indicates “the influence of parental involvement overall is significant for

secondary school children” (p.82). Based on reviews of many different studies; census

bureau figures on income; changing family demographics; changing family structures;

and external economic factors, two points become clear. First, the likelihood that parents

will become involved in their children’s education at levels high enough to leverage their

potential for academic achievement depends on many different factors. Second, the

factors that impinge upon parental involvement and family structure are undergoing

constant changes which make parental involvement as a method to enhance academic

achievement more tenuous than ever.

Family Structure and Parental Involvement

There are many factors which bear upon the extent to which a parent is able to

become involved in the academic affairs of his/her children, and among those factors,

different family structure types have been shown to affect academic achievement. Studies

by Amato (2000), Jeynes (2002), and Weitoft (2004) have noted that students from

divorced parents are more likely to demonstrate lower academic achievement. Although

it is reasonable to understand that single parents simply have less available time to spend

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