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Parental Involvement and Adolescents’ Educational Success: The Roles of Prior Achievement and Socioeconomic Status

Abstract

Parental educational involvement in primary and secondary school is strongly linked to students’ academic success; however; less is known about the long-term effects of parental involvement. In this study, we investigated the associations between four aspects of parents’ educational involvement (i.e., home- and school-based involvement, educational expectations, academic advice) and young people’s proximal (i.e., grades) and distal academic outcomes (i.e., educational attainment). Attention was also placed on whether these relations varied as a function of family socioeconomic status or adolescents’ prior achievement. The data were drawn from 15,240 10th grade students (50 % females; 57 % White, 13 % African American, 15 % Latino, 9 % Asian American, and 6 % other race/ethnicity) participating in the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. We observed significant links between both school-based involvement and parental educational expectations and adolescents’ cumulative high school grades and educational attainment. Moderation analyses revealed that school-based involvement seemed to be particularly beneficial for more disadvantaged youth (i.e., those from low-SES families, those with poorer prior achievement), whereas parents’ academic socialization seemed to better promote the academic success of more advantaged youth (i.e., those from high-SES families, those with higher prior achievement). These findings suggest that academic interventions and supports could be carefully targeted to better support the educational success of all young people.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the support of funding from the William T. Grant Foundation to Aprile Benner and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to the Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin (R24 HD42849). Opinions reflect those of the authors and not necessarily those of the granting agencies.

Author Contributions

ADB conceived of and participated in the design of the study, supervised the data analysis and interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript. AEB performed the statistical analyses, participated in the interpretation of the data, and drafted the manuscript. SS conceived of the study and participated in its design. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Aprile D. Benner.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained by the NCES from all individual participants included in the study.

Appendix

Appendix

Parental educational involvement and control variable effects on academic outcomes

  Grades Educational attainment
β (SE) β (SE)
Home involvement −0.00 (.01) −0.02 (.01)
School involvement 0.06 (.01)*** 0.06 (.01)***
Educational expectations 0.09 (.01)*** 0.10 (.01)***
Academic advice −0.01 (.01) 0.04 (.01)***
Family SES 0.09 (.01)*** 0.19 (.01)***
Composite achievement test score 0.44 (.01)*** 0.31 (.01)***
Female 0.16 (.01)*** 0.11 (.01)***
Asian American 0.02 (.00)** 0.05 (.01)***
African American −0.14 (.01)*** −0.01 (.01)
Latino −0.09 (.01)*** −0.01 (.01)
Other race/ethnicity −0.04 (.01)*** −0.02 (.01)*
Age −0.08 (.01)*** −0.06 (.01)***
School sector −0.00 (.01) −0.04 (.01)***
Free/reduced-priced lunch 0.06 (.02)*** −0.03 (.01)**
  1. Parental involvement and covariates measured at W1 (10th grade), grades at W2 (12th grade), and educational attainment at W4 (8 years post-expected high school)
  2. p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001

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Benner, A.D., Boyle, A.E. & Sadler, S. Parental Involvement and Adolescents’ Educational Success: The Roles of Prior Achievement and Socioeconomic Status. J Youth Adolescence 45, 1053–1064 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0431-4

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Keywords

  • Parental educational involvement
  • Academic achievement
  • Educational attainment
  • Socioeconomic status