Parent Engagement Bibliography

As researchers dive more in-depth into a topic to study, an annotated bibliography comes handy. The following Parent Engagement studies are in Bibliography format, describing ten research studies (including mix, qualitative, & quantitative).

Balli, S. J., Demo, D. H., & Wedman, J. F. (1998). Family Involvement with Children’s Homework: An Intervention in the Middle Grades. Family Relations, 47, 2, 149.

Methodology used: This study investigated a mathematics homework intervention designed to increase family involvement in middle grades. The researchers examined parent involvement under three scenarios: Group 1) no prompts were given to family members to be involved in their child’s mathematics homework; Group 2) parents were prompted to engage with their children’s homework; and Group 3) both the student and the family members were encouraged to involve family members with mathematics homework. The study hypothesized that the highest the parent involvement is with their children’s mathematics homework, the higher the children’s mathematics score will be. Data collection included 20 mathematics homework assignments developed by Epstein (1988). The assignment required students to engage with family members to complete the assignments. In addition, introductory letters served to inform families about the homework assignments, and a homework survey, consisting of 10 questions, was distributed to family members to assess parental involvement with the mathematics homework. Students survey were also distributed to students to determined parental involvement during homework assignments.

Analysis unit:sixth grader Caucasian student from a middle-class background.

Sample size:A total of 74 Caucasian sixth graders (31 boys and 43 girls) and their predominately middle-class families participated in the study.

Key results:The study found that groups 2 and 3 were both substantially more involved with mathematics homework than was group 1, but there was no significant difference in family involvement between groups 2 and 3. The study finding suggests that prompts are effective in engaging families. This study results also suggest that for parental involvement to be effective it has to be sustained over time. And as hypothesized, the researchers found that the group with the highest average homework scores was the group where student and family members were prompted to involve family members with mathematics homework.

Study limitations (if any):The study found that students whose parents held a college degree did substantially better on the mathematics posttest than students whose parents did not hold a college degree, suggesting a strong correlation of the level of education in families to understand parent engagement.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This is study is relevant because it provides evidence of parental involvement in relation to academic success.

Miedel, W. T., & Reynolds, A. J. (1999). Parent Involvement in Early Intervention for Disadvantaged Children: Does It Matter? Journal of School Psychology, 37, 4, 379-402.

Methodology used: This qualitative research study investigated the relationship between parent engagement as an early intervention tool related to student’s academic success in later years. The study used data collected from the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS), which investigated the effects of federally funded preschool programs in Chicago Public Schools. 704 parents of children who participated in the CLS were interviewed retrospectively on their parent engagement in preschool and kindergarten. Out of the 704 parents, 84% were eligible for subsidized lunch, indicating either at-risk or low-income status. The data collection methods included parent interviews, self-reporting on activities, and frequency of involvement. The survey consisted of 64 questions assessing their children’s early education in the preschool program and current education status. The questionnaire also assessed parental involvement, education expectations, and socioeconomic issues. Surveys were either completed through phone interviews or mail to the families. The study measures included frequency of parental involvement, number of parent activities, participation in child-parent centers, cognitive maturity, teacher rating, and child and family background.

Analysis unit:Parent/caregiver

Sample size:1,050 parents/caregiver were invited to participate in the survey with 704 parents/caregivers completing the survey.

Key results:The results indicated that frequency of parental involvement in preschool and kindergarten was significantly associated with higher scores of reading achievement and kindergarten. These positive study results were also pronounced between parental involvement frequency and eighth-grade reading achievement. The study results also demonstrated that parent involvement in early education helped lower rates of grade retention and helped students spend fewer years in special education programs.

Study limitations (if any):The limitation of this study includes the retrospective accounts of family involvement with their children. The authors suggest that families may have responded to questions based on their entire experience and not based on the study period. Another limitation of this study includes unmeasured factors correlated to parental involvement could have influence school achievement and not necessarily what was reported.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study demonstrates how students perform best when the family is engaged in their learning. Therefore, this study supports the need to empower families with knowledge and skills to become more purposeful and successful in their involvement with their children.

Barnard, W. M. (2004). Parent involvement in elementary school and educational attainment. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 1, 39-62.

Methodology used: This quasi-experimental design study investigated the relationship between parental involvement in elementary school and student’s success in high school at the age of 14 and age 20.  The study participants included children who had previously participated in the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS). Parent engagement at home and in school reports were assessed to identify if greater parental involvement in early childhood education helped to promote long-term school success. The author hypothesized that parental involvement in school is a vital part of early childhood education to help promote long-term school success.

Analysis unit:Child

Identify sample size:A total of 1165 children within the Chicago Public Schools were included in the study sample.

Key results:Evidence shows that parental involvement at home has a direct correlation with a child’s achievement. The study results demonstrate that involvement of parents in their child’s education, particularly early in the educational process, has a positive benefit in later years. In addition, there was a 21 percent lower likelihood that a child would drop out from school for each year that a teacher rated a parent as being involved in their child’s education.

Study limitations (if any):Limitations to the study include 1) parental involvement measures may have limited validity, 2) model specification error must be taken into consideration, and 3) other indicators of school success may exist that were not taken into consideration. One implication of the study includes the ability to promote cost-effective ways to improve existing school programs to aid in a child’s educational achievements.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic: This study is helpful because it analyzed the same data as Miedel, & Reynolds (1999), and the results were similar. Both studies demonstrated the impact of parent engagement in children’s academic achievement in later life.

Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2005). Can Instructional and Emotional Support in the First-Grade Classroom Make a Difference for Children at Risk of School Failure?Child Development, 76, 5, 949-967.

Methodology used: This study examined the relationship between instructional and emotional support from teachers in the first grade to evaluate how supportive relationships between adult and children can moderate children’s risk of school failure. The study defined school-based risk through multiple indicators such as demographic factors like low maternal education, and general functioning and adaption in the classroom like behavior and academic problems. Sample participants in this study included children and mothers from hospitals located in Little Rock, AK; Irvine, CA; Lawrence, KS; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Pittsburgh, PA; Charlottesville, VA; Morganton, NC; Seattle, WA, and Madison, WI. Classroom observations were conducted in the children’s second year of school. Children were group based on their functioning and demographic factors. Children’s outcomes were assessed with the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-educational Battery-Revised (WJ-R; Woodcock & Johnson, 1989), while the student-teacher relationship was evaluated with the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (Pianta, 2002).

Analysis unit:Child and mother

Sample size:Sample participants in this study included 1,346 children and mothers from different cities across the nation.

Key results:The study results provide evidence on the importance of adult-child relationships in moderating early school failure. Instead of adults being distant observers of children’s learning and social and emotional experiences, mutual engagement, exploration, and meaning-making can influence and accelerate a child’s social and cognitive achievements.

Study limitations (if any):Limitation to this study includes the large and existing data sample instead of developing specific data samples to address this study’s research questions.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study is relevant to my topic since it demonstrates that positive adult-child relationships can support children’s learning.

De, Gaetano, Y. (2007). The Role of Culture in Engaging Latino Parents’ Involvement in School. Urban Education, 42, 2, 145-162.

Methodology used: For this study, the author created a program that explored the culture and background of Latino parents. The Cross-Cultural Demonstration Project took place over a period of three years. The project aim was to improve academic outcomes of English-language learners through the use of specific language strategies to enable children to become bilingual and the use of culture as a mediator of learning. The sample was drawn from two schools, where the predominant race was Latino.

Analysis unit:Parent and teacher

Sample size:18 teachers

Key results:Through the workshops, parents became more comfortable and trusted of the teachers. This study provides great insight into the views and beliefs of Latino parents in these two schools. The parents who were involved in the project gained cultural capital and increased their knowledge about the school system. In addition, the parents who participated in the program felt more confident in creating partnerships with the school and teachers.

Study limitations (if any):This study does not provide a total of parents who participated in the project. In addition, another limitation of this study is that it cannot be generalized to a larger population due to the narrow scope of the project. More research is needed in order to do that. This study may also be useful in other schools that are predominantly minorities.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study is relevant as it an actual parent engagement project being implemented to engage parents and teachers.

Cooper, C. E., & Crosnoe, R. (2007). The Engagement in Schooling of Economically Disadvantaged Parents and Children. Youth & Society, 38, 3, 372-391.

 Methodology used: This study investigated the relationship between parent involvement in education and children’s academic orientation. The study examined data from the Philadelphia Project, a longitudinal study launched in 1990 by the MacArthur Network on Successful Adolescent Development in High-Risk Settings. Participant recruitment consisted of 65 census tracts representing working and lower-class communities with poverty rates of 10% to 40% more. The study measures included family economic disadvantage, parent involvement in education and children’s academic orientation. Families were screened via telephone interviews and completed in-person interviews and questionnaires.

Analysis unit:Family

Sample size:489 target children and their primary caregivers completed in-person interviews and questionnaires.

Key results:This study found children’s academic orientation was not significantly associated with the economic disadvantage in the family. However, this study found that economic disadvantage in the family did moderate the association between parental involvement in education and the academic orientation of children. As parental involvement in education increases so does children’s academic orientation for disadvantaged youths. The opposite is true for non-disadvantaged youths.

Study limitations (if any):A limitation of this study is the use of a small cross-sectional sample data from a specific low-income community. This study serves as a preliminary study to further research in this area.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study is relevant to my topic because it studied disadvantages families and it demonstrated a positive effect of parent engagement associated with student’s academic orientation.

Hindman, A. H., and Morrison, F. J. (2011). Family involvement and educator outreach in Head Start: Nature, extent, and contributions to early literacy skills. Elementary School Journal, 111(3), 359-386.

Methodology used: This study examined the nature and extent of family engagement and educator outreach at home, in preschool centers/classrooms, and through communication with educators during the first year of head start to predict academic and social success in young children. Participants in this study included children who involved in the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) study (2000 cohort). The data collection included family involvement activities such as shared book reading, home involvement, in-school involvement, and communications. Families were interviewed about their parent involvement at home, and center directors were interviewed on their family outreach practices. In addition, classroom instruction and quality were observed. Children’s skills were assessed individually using the Woodcock-Johnson R Letter-Word subtest (LW; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001. Children’s scores were measured using an Item Response Theory (IRT) scale. Receptive vocabulary was individually assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT; Dunn & Dunn, 1998). Family involvement measures included shared book reading, home involvement, in-school involvement, and communications. Center outreach measures included goals of outreach and invitations for in-school involvement.

Analysis unit:parent, child, teacher

Sample size:Study sample included 2,359 children with16.56% of the children had limited English proficiency, and 14.48% of the children had disabilities or special needs. Out of the 2,359 children, 88.07% of parents responded were either surveyed or interviewed.

Key results:The study revealed positive and strong outcomes of children’ vocabulary and literacy learning approaches. Preschool children’s reading and vocabulary skills increased when parents and caregivers were involved in home teaching letter sounds, letter names and reading words. In addition, children demonstrated positive attitudes toward learning based on encouragement from educators for families to continue the engagement at home.

Study limitations (if any):Limitations of this study includes self-reported data from parents and educators, which carries set of social bias.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study is relevant to my topic as it has a large sample data demonstrating the positive effects of parent engagement to support student’s academic success.

Crosnoe, R. (2012). Family-School Connections, Early Learning, and Socioeconomic Inequality in the US. Multidisciplinary Journal of Educational Research, 2(1), 1-36. doi: 10.4471/remie.2012.01

Methodology used: This study investigated parental involvement as key to reduce performance disparities and promote learning. This study examined data collected from a longitudinal study of American children in kindergarten. Matching the data collecting with parent engagement theory, the researchers measured early learning as a core subject, family socioeconomic status, and family-school connections. Data coding included analysis of reading achievement trajectories to gauge socioeconomic disparities in children and family trajectories. This study measures included early learning as a core subject in the primary grades, family socioeconomic status, and family-school connections. Data collection consisted of interviews with parents and school personnel and diagnostic tests for children.

Analysis unit:Child

Sample size:This study sample consisted of 14,887 children who participated up

through third grade.

Key results:The study results indicate that children with high parent involvement were associated with greater reading gains, whereas children who only counted with one-side engagement, from school, tended to be more at-risk and disadvantage, unlike their more affluent peers.

Study limitations (if any):The limitation of this study included national data and large-scale community data which typically does not allow for detailed measurement of family-school connections. In addition, because of the large sample, this study serves as a preliminary study to further research in the area of family-school connection for positive parent engagement.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study is relevant to my topic as it provides positive evidence of family engagement in supporting student’s academic success.

 Adamson, L. B., Bakeman, R., Deckner, D. F., & Nelson, P. B. (2014). From Interactions to Conversations: The Development of Joint Engagement During Early Childhood. Child Development, 85, 3, 941-955.

Methodology used: This study investigated the relationship of join-engagement in parent-child interactions during early childhood to promote positive conversation and develop early literacy skills. Children and mothers were observed during their children in their 3½, 4½, and 5½ years. Data collection for this study included observations and questionnaires to assess parent-child interactions.

Analysis unit:child and mother

Sample size:49 children and their mothers.

Key results:The study highlights the crucial roles that caregivers play in during a child’s first conversation to gain significant language skills.

Study limitations (if any):Limitation to this study includes that most of the mothers selected for this study were highly educated compared to other studies where the majority of caregivers or families come from a disadvantaged background.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:This study is relevant to my topic because it shows the relationships between a child and an adult can shape a child’s interpersonal being and promote social development.

Moore, K. J., Garbacz, S. A., Gau, J. M., Dishion, T. J., Brown, K. L., Stormshak, E. A., & Seeley, J. R. (2016). Proactive Parent Engagement in Public Schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 18, 4, 230-240.

Methodology used:This study examines whether Positive Family Support–Strengths and Needs Assessment (PFS-SaNA) tools can efficiently support family engagement through communications strategies within a public health framework. The study group consisted of parents and teachers of middle school students in 8 different middle schools across the Northwest region of the United States. This study included two phases: phase 1 included exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of 448 students; phase 2 included a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) based on 422 students. The PFS-SaNA tools consisted of a series of questionnaires adapted from TRISK (Soberman, 1994) and the Secondary School Readiness Inventory (SSRI; created by the study authors). Parents or caregivers answered the questionnaire by rating their student on a 14 items scale in common areas where their student needed health academic support. And teacher-report-measure consisted of an online assessment based on Teacher Concern for Student School Adjustment Scale (TCSSAS). Teachers were asked to read a text and evaluate students based on six different health and academic concern areas. The student-report-measure consisted of a socioeconomic survey completed by students via online software.

Analysis unit:Parent and teacher

Sample size:Parents/caregivers and teachers from 448 students in phase 1 and parents/caregivers and teachers from 422 students in phase 2.

Key results:The findings of this study support the need of having a psychometrically valid screener at a school like PFS-SaNA as a tool to evaluate and increase the likelihood of engaging parents within a positive behavior system. Schools can use this tool as a strategy to proactively engage families before family engagement becomes contaminated with school-based problems. This study also supports the high probability of developing a good working collaboration between home and school to support student’s well-being and academic success.

Study limitations (if any):Limitations of this study consists of 1) the data sample is restricted to those parents, teachers, and students who completed the questionnaire and forms; 2) there were limitations in testing and retesting the data, and 3) this study did not address if PFS-SaNA increase the likelihood of parents with high-risk students to engage in evidence-based family interventions. This is a promising opportunity for future research to address this question.

Discuss how relevant to your selected topic:study measured the reliability and validity of PFS-SaNA as a tool to increase parent engagement communication between home-school.

17 thoughts on “Parent Engagement Bibliography

  1. A major challenge facing researchers is determining whether parent involvement itself is actually beneficial to children or whether parents who are more engaged and involved in children’s schooling also differ in key selection characteristics (e.g., motivation, cognitive competence) from less involved parents. If the most competent parents with developmentally advanced children are more likely to be involved in school, this could lead to an upward bias of the effect of parent involvement, thereby making it appear to be disproportionately beneficial to children. In contrast, if parents of the most struggling children are more likely to be involved, a downward bias in the influence of parent involvement may emerge, indicating that parent involvement is less beneficial for children than is actually the case. Between-child analyses are susceptible to these sorts of endogeneity or selection biases ( Duncan, Magnuson, Ludwig, 2004 ). One approach for addressing these biases is conducting within-individual analyses linking changes in parent involvement to changes in academic or behavioral functioning ( Allison, 1990 ).
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    1. You are absolutely correct. However, Susana’s results were quite interesting. Your comment added more insight into the possible causes of lower student achievement. I believe collaborative research in education has a higher validity, simply because results are less likely to have bias results, due to the additional insights and points of view being shared among educational professionals.

  2. A major challenge facing researchers is determining whether parent involvement itself is actually beneficial to children or whether parents who are more engaged and involved in children’s schooling also differ in key selection characteristics (e.g., motivation, cognitive competence) from less involved parents. If the most competent parents with developmentally advanced children are more likely to be involved in school, this could lead to an upward bias of the effect of parent involvement, thereby making it appear to be disproportionately beneficial to children. In contrast, if parents of the most struggling children are more likely to be involved, a downward bias in the influence of parent involvement may emerge, indicating that parent involvement is less beneficial for children than is actually the case. Between-child analyses are susceptible to these sorts of endogeneity or selection biases ( Duncan, Magnuson, Ludwig, 2004 ). One approach for addressing these biases is conducting within-individual analyses linking changes in parent involvement to changes in academic or behavioral functioning ( Allison, 1990 ).
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