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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 35 / 102

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preoccupied to participate in school programs prevents establishing the necessary two-

way communication between the school officials and parents (pp.97-8).

Gender

Briefly mentioned above, one study designed to distinguish gender differences

related to academic achievement and parental involvement, Muller (1998) utilized

parental involvement variables similar to those used in the study being replicated here.

Jeynes’ (2005) discussion variable “was based on the extent to which a child discussed

events at school with his or her parents” (p.104). In Muller’s study “All the students

reported how frequently they discussed school activities or what they studied in class”

(p.340). In both Muller and Jeynes, the parental involvement variable included measures

of how often parents attended school meetings or school events. Muller further defined

this parental interaction by commenting, “A school meeting, in which school policy and

programs are discussed, is more likely to be formal, whereas school events may have a

more social or extracurricular content” (p.340).

In Muller’s (1998) study, the discussion of descriptive statistics provides some

insight as to the differential effect of parental involvement on boys’ and girls’ academic

achievement. The study revealed that girls discussed school with parents more frequently

than did the boys, and although boys talked about school programs more with their

fathers, both groups talked more with their mothers than their fathers. Drawing from her

own earlier research, Muller (1995) indicated that fathers’ discussions of high school

with sons may be due to a need to intervene regarding disciplinary issues, or it may be

that fathers simply take more interest in shaping their son’s lives. According to Muller,

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