Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Many lower socioeconomic status (SES) students at the middle school level in a school district were not achieving academically, and many of their parents were not involved in the school. To assist these parents, this qualitative case study examined the perspectives of lower SES parents of middle school students who were experiencing academic success. The intent of this investigation was to illuminate the parenting practices and involvement that appeared to be effective for this subpopulation. The theoretical framework was Bandura's self-efficacy theory. Research questions focused on lower SES parents' practices that supported their child's academic success. Data were collected through individual interviews with 10 lower SES parents of academically successful middle school students, as indicated by their grade point averages. Data were coded and common themes were identified as keeping clear lines of communication with school, providing encouragement, and keeping parent involvement consistent and persistent. These themes were not unique to this group of parents as anticipated, but they supported findings from the literature. Findings support general recommendations for the local school district for developing a comprehensive plan to encourage consistency and persistence of parental involvement and for training of teachers on increasing parental involvement opportunities. Implications for social change include parents supporting student learning and success and teachers becoming more effective in working with parents on strategies that can support their children academically.