Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




George Smeaton


Parental involvement in children's education has been found to have a positive impact on academic achievement. Because the state has mandated that academic achievement in the study district needs to increase, identifying means of increasing parental involvement is important. Guided by the work of Epstein, this quantitative study was conducted to explore demographic factors related to parents' involvement in the education of their children. Specifically, research questions examined differences in parental involvement by socioeconomic status (SES), barriers to involvement for parents, and school strategies to improve parental involvement. Parents of all 5th grade students (n = 935) from a large East Coast urban district were surveyed using the Scale of Parental Involvement to address the research questions. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics as well as an independent-samples t test to determine the differences in involvement by SES. A significant difference in parental involvement between low- and high-SES parents was not obtained. Parents reported that barriers such as work hours, lack of feeling appreciated, culture, transportation, and child care prevented full participation in the education of their children. The findings also suggested that districts might increase parental involvement through engaging in more frequent communication with parents; providing more activities to do at home; and providing more time for training, teaching, and meeting. Implications for positive social change include providing research findings to the local district on how to increase the involvement of parents in their children's education.

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