Reserch proposal acedemic achievement and parental Essay

This essay has a total of 2380 words and 15 pages.

Reserch proposal acedemic achievement and parental invovlment


Research Proposal
Your Name

Most recently there has been much heated debate regarding our children's education and the
blamed responsibility to be in the hands of the educational system. However, researchers
and educators generally agree that parents play an extremely important role in students'
academic development. Parents have been found to actually have the advantage over peers,
educators, counselors, and other professionals. This study examines the assumed
relationship with a student's academic achievement and the amount of parental involvement
they receive.

There also seems to be an increasing trend toward higher educational expectations. High
school sophomores in 1990 were more likely than sophomores in 1980 to report the
expectation of receiving a bachelor's or advanced college degree. Educational attainment
does appear to be increasingly important to students, parents, counselors, and teachers.
These apparent trends in educational expectations and advice given by adults were
consistent across races, socioeconomic strata, school type, section of the country, and
student achievement levels (Rasinski et al., 1993).

The purpose of this study is to merely examine the relationship between parental
involvement and academic achievement. With the study of these two topics there are many
various variables that help in determining the eventual out come. It is extremely
difficult to form any conclusions regarding parental involvement because for the variety
in conceptualization and the subjective measurement of parent involvement. Other
variables obviously play important roles such as, internal locus of control (Baumrind,
1991; Trusty & Lampe, 1997), and self-esteem (Chubb & Fertman, 1992).

It is generally accepted that the relationship of parent involvement to many of the above
variables is causal. That is, parenting practices produce adolescent outcomes. In
addition, parent involvement is multidimensional and is reflected through parents'
behavior and attitudes, parenting styles, and children's perceptions (Steinberg et al.,

Parents have been found to actually have the advantage over peers, educators, counselors,
and other professionals. Thus serving as a continual, and perhaps more stable, resource
for their children over their entire life span (Farmer, 1985; Trusty, 1996). One of many
contributing influences is the socioeconomic status (SES) and gender variables, which will
be included in the analyses. Both SES and gender are related to parent involvement
(Trusty, 1996) Educational achievement is directly influenced by educational expectations
and the relationship between parent involvement and educational expectations may be
conditional on SES (Marjoribanks, 1986).

SES influences adolescents' educational expectations. Intergenerational goal transmission
is more successful when parents have a higher education levels and prestigious
occupations. The transmission of parents' education goals to their children is more
successful when parents agree on goals for their children (Smith, 1981, 1991).

Parent involvement seems to have many dimensions and can be measured from many
perspectives (i.e., those of parents, adolescents, and teachers). The relationship of
parent involvement to educational achievement may be conditional on SES. Also, many
aspects of family functioning, such as parent-child relationships, relationships between
parents, parents' behavior with children, and children's perceptions of parents, seem to
be related to education outcomes and expectations (Trusty, 96). Parents' attendance at
extracurricular activities and adolescents' perceptions of parents' personal educational
support seem to influence adolescents' educational expectations, above and beyond the
effects of SES.

Studying background research regarding a parent's influence over their child, it is not a
far reach to hypothesis that there is a direct relationship between parental involvement
and their child's academic achievement. This is not to state that there is a causation
effect, that is that one causes the other, but that there is a relationship between the

The study will use the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) as a
format guideline but will obviously vary a great degree. NELS:88 participants were 14,673
young adults from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS: 88), a study
developed, administered, and researched by the National Center for Education Statistics
(NCES) and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). NELS:88 is the most recent and
comprehensive study of U.S. secondary and post-secondary educational development
processes, thus another reason for the format usage.

NELS:88 began with surveys of eighth graders in 1988 and had a Second follow-up
questionnaire and a Third follow-up both for the student subjects and for the parent
subjects. This present study will also have the same general format. The six different
questionnaires to be used in this study are not available for this proposal but the actual
format and contents will be briefly discussed.

The subjects will be eighth graders currently attending school; this is where the survey
will be administered and their parent/guardian who will receive the survey through the
mail. An attempted 15,000 students will be surveyed, Initially at the end of their eighth
school year, the Second follow-up questionnaire at the end of their tenth school year and
the Third follow-up at the end of their twelfth school year. Waiting for the end of the
school year is to hopefully get information that is most recently applicable. Surveying at
the beginning of the school year seems as though it would not give the study the most
reliable data. There would be no grades to study and since most adolescents prefer to
spend their summer time away from parent contact. These factors are believed to have the
ability to perhaps skew the results. The grades are available at the end of the year and
the parent involvement will also be easily measured.

An attempted 15,000 parents will be surveyed, Initially at the end of their child's eighth
school year, the Second follow-up at the end of their child's tenth school year and the
Third follow-up at the end of their child's twelfth school year. The survey will be
mailed to the children's' parents/guardians and only one parent/guardian, the one who
spends the most time with the child, is needed to fill out the survey. Once again,
waiting for the end of the school year is to hopefully get information that is most
recently applicable. An incentive will be used as a motivator for both parent and child
will be in the form of a $20.00 gift certificate for each questionnaire returned for each
individual (nice budget huh?) to a local department store (i.e. Target).

Researchers Grolnick and Slowiaczek (1994), discovered that parents' school-related rather
than home-based involvement is more highly predictive of educational achievement. They
measured three dimensions of parent involvement that can also be used for this study: (1)
parent behavior (parent and teacher-reported participation in school activities), (2)
personal involvement (student-reported parent involvement--similar to home-based
involvement), and (3) intellectual/cognitive involvement (student-reported educational
activities with parents--similar to home-based involvement). Of the three dimensions,
personal involvement had the weakest effects on academic achievement; parent behavior had
the strongest effects.

This study will also be using a similar scale developed by Trusty et al. (1997) through
factor analysis of several items that reflect students' perceptions of their parents'
personal involvement in their education, career development, and personal lives. The
scale indexes positive parent involvement; higher scores indicate more parent involvement.
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