Date of Conferral







Timothy Lionetti


The achievement gap between African American and White students has been well documented. The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine whether parental involvement in academics predicted academic motivation of fourth- and fifth-grade African American students in the Southwest United States. Social development theory provided the framework for the study. Survey data were collected from 43 students and 43 parents using the Parental Involvement Scale and the Children’s Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. A t test, linear regression, and multiple regression were used to analyze the data. Findings indicated no significant difference between how parents and students perceived parental involvement in seven of the nine domains. Students had different perceptions of parental involvement in two domains: when parents were encouraging students to do their best and parents attending student activities. Seven of the nine parental involvement items predicted student academic motivation. Gender was not a significant moderator between parental involvement and academic motivation. Findings may be used by educators to promote certain types of parental involvement to enhance students’ academic motivation and parent-child relationships.