Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Andrew Thomas


Researchers have associated parent involvement in primary schools with the improvement of grades, attendance, and the decrease of negative social behaviors. Consequently, parent involvement has improved in many primary schools. However, in secondary schools, parent participation continues to be deficient, particularly among Latino and African American communities due to language barriers, low incomes, and lack of social networks. Research is needed on how parent participation affects student achievement in secondary schools with underserved populations. Social capital theory provided the conceptual framework to help determine if parent involvement could create parent-school relationships that would lead to improved student academic and behavioral outcomes in a predominantly minority urban charter high school. The quasi-experimental observational study used program data and pre and post archived student records provided over a 2-year period from a convenience sample of 83 continuously enrolled students. Epstein's framework was used to categorize types of parent involvement, which constituted the independent variables. T tests and chi-squared analyses were used to test the association between the independent variables and dependent variables. The study found a limited association between GPA and ELA grades and certain types of parent participation activities for students overall, but not for English Language Learners. Attendance was not found to be affected significantly and data were lacking on suspensions and expulsions. The results of this study informs administrators who seek to increase parent involvement in order to improve student achievement and decrease the drop-out rate in high schools serving at risk students.

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