Parents’ Involvement in Children’s Schooling

A Context for Children’s Development

Authored by: Eva M. Pomerantz , Elizabeth A. Moorman

Handbook of Research on Schools, Schooling, and Human Development

Print publication date:  May  2010
Online publication date:  June  2010

Print ISBN: 9780805859485
eBook ISBN: 9780203874844
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283872


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Since the late 1990s, there have been numerous calls for parents to become more involved in children’s schooling. Perhaps most prominent is the U.S. federal government’s No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 in which increasing parents’ involvement is one of six targeted areas for reform. Such calls are also visible in schools all over the United States as indicated by the presence of Parent–Teacher Associations (PTAs). The calls for parents’ involvement in children’s academic lives are based on a wealth of evidence showing that the more parents take part in school activities such as parent–teacher conferences and school open houses, the more children flourish academically in that they enjoy their schoolwork, are engaged in it, and earn good grades (for reviews, see Hill & Taylor, 2004; Pomerantz, Grolnick, & Price, 2005). The evidence comes from research that has focused largely on linking the extent of parents’ involvement to children’s academic functioning. Such research has been critical in establishing that parents need to be involved in children’s schooling. However, the “more-is-better” framework used to date neglects a number of factors that are important to understanding the effects on children of parents’ involvement.

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