Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1702–1719 | Cite as

Parental Involvement Across Middle and High School: Exploring Contributions of Individual and Neighborhood Characteristics

  • Sakshi BhargavaEmail author
  • Dawn P. WitherspoonEmail author
Empirical Research


Parental involvement in education is crucial during adolescence when grades decline and youth autonomy increases. This study examined parental involvement trajectories from 7th to 11th grade and explored whether individual and neighborhood characteristics affected this change. European American and African American (66 %) families participated (N = 1377, primary caregivers: 92 % female; adolescents: 51 % male, initial age range: 11–14). Results showed that, over time, parents reduced home- and school-based involvement but consistently engaged in academic socialization. Individual and neighborhood characteristics contributed differentially to parental involvement trajectories. These findings suggest that parental investment in adolescents’ education persists during this critical developmental period, but individual and contextual differences impact the use of these strategies, which has implications for family-school partnerships and interventions.


Home-based involvement School-based involvement Academic socialization Race Socioeconomic status Gender Neighborhood structure Social dynamics 



The authors’ work for this manuscript was not supported by any external funding. The MADICS study was supported by multiple sources. For more information on these data, please see Jacquelynne S. Eccles 1997, “MADICS Study of Adolescent Development in Multiple Contexts 1991–1998”, UNF:5:uuV+GIHq+xtra75iHCPSPw==Murray Research Archive [Distributor] V2 [Version].

Authors’ Contributions

SB conceived of the study, participated in its design, conducted the statistical analysis, interpreted the findings, and drafted the manuscript. DPW conceived of the study, participated in its design, assisted with the statistical analysis and interpretation of the findings, and helped to draft and revise the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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