David Snyder

Parental Involvement: What Makes the Most Impact?

The May issue of the journal Developmental Psychology features a fascinating meta-analysis of the research on parental involvement with early adolescent students. It's no surprise that students supported by parents involved in their education tend to exhibit higher achievement; this study breaks down parental involvement into subtypes to see what actions make the most difference across 50 studies.

The authors of "Parental Involvement in Middle School: A Meta-Analytic Assessment of the Strategies That Promote Achievement" find that involvement described as "academic socialization" has the strongest positive correlation to achievement. They describe this as involvement that "creates an understanding about the purposes, goals, and meaning of academic performance; communicates expectations about involvement; and provides strategies that students can effectively use." 

Other types such as school visits and volunteering were positively correlated with achievement, but less so. Interestingly, helping with homework was the only type not positively related to achievement.

How can schools best work to support parent involvement?

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