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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 46 / 102

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regression models. In fact, due to these limitations in the original study, this research will

not include a “non-SES” regression model for reasons which will become obvious in the

following explication of the numerous ways in which relationship between inter-related

variables is conceptualized and analyzed by others who discovered similar problems in

their own research.

As previously mentioned, Jeynes (2005), suggests that SES, family structure, and

parental involvement are discreet concepts of parent-child interaction, separately

measurable. This is problematic for several reasons. The relationship is, in fact, very

complicated, and it is very difficult to determine the strength of the effect of either

variable on academic achievement due to the inter-related nature of the independent

variable, parental involvement, and SES which serves as a control variable in this

research. In a spurious relationship, “the independent and dependent variables are

influenced by a causally prior control variable, and there is no causal link between them”

(Frankfort-Nachmias and Leon-Guerrero 2002:219). According to the same authors, “the

relationship between the independent and dependent variables is said to be ‘explained

away’ by the control variable” (2002). However, replicating this study presents a

situation where the linkage between the independent, dependent, and control variables is

not so clear cut. It seems logical that SES would be a causally prior variable because

most families would be building, and hopefully, improving their SES before ever having

children, but this is not necessarily true, and it is definitely not true in all cases. To

address the question of a spurious relationship more directly, in this replication,

controlling for SES does not “explain away” the effect of parental involvement on

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