A Case Study of African American Parental Involvement in an Urban Middle School

Verdie Ruth Sadberry, Walden University


Studying parental involvement offers the opportunity to develop new strategies and resources to

increase involvement at the middle schools serving a similar demographic population. In a large

economically disadvantaged urban middle school in the southeastern United States, very little

parental involvement occurs from the African American population. The purpose of this qualitative

single case study was to examine African American parents' perception about their involvement in

their middle school students' education. Guided by Epstein, Simon, and Salinas' parental

involvement model, which describes 6 levels of parental involvement, the research questions guiding

this project study examined African American parents' perceptions about middle school children's

educational experiences, the level of parental involvement in middle school education, and parental

beliefs about student success. A purposeful participant pool of 10

African American parents of Grade 7 and 8 students was used for data collection. Ten parents

completed the preliminary paper questionnaire, 10 parents participated in 1-on-1 semi-structured

interviews, and 7 parents participated in a focus group discussion. Thematic analysis of data

followed the open coding process and identified categories and themes. The findings suggested the

need for a parent education program involving the use of new strategies and resources for

increasing African American parent involvement at the middle school level. Social change will

occur by empowering African American parents to be involved in their middle school students'