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Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1332–1349 | Cite as

Parental Involvement and Adolescent Academic Outcomes: Exploring Differences in Beneficial Strategies across Racial/Ethnic Groups

  • Elizabeth DayEmail author
  • Aryn M. Dotterer
Empirical Research

Abstract

Gaps in educational outcomes between racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups persist in the United States, and parental involvement is often cited as an important avenue for improving outcomes among racially/ethnically diverse adolescents. This study utilized data from the Education Longitudinal Study 2002–2013 (56% female, N = 4429), which followed 10th-graders through high school and ten years post-high school, to examine the links between parental involvement strategies and academic outcomes (grade point average and educational attainment). Participants included white, African American, and Hispanic/Latino adolescents from low-SES families. This study used recursive partitioning, a novel analytic strategy used for exploring higher-order interactions and non-linear associations among factors (e.g., parental educational involvement strategies) to predict an outcome (e.g., grade point average or educational attainment) through step-wise partitioning. The results showed that the combination of greater academic socialization and school-based involvement was beneficial for all adolescents’ grade point average, whereas the combination of home-based involvement with academic socialization and school-based involvement yielded mixed results. Greater academic socialization and home-based involvement appeared beneficial for educational attainment among African American and Hispanic/Latino adolescents, but not white adolescents. More home-based involvement and less academic socialization were associated with less educational attainment for white adolescents. Overall, the findings showed different combinations of parental educational involvement strategies were beneficial for adolescents across racial/ethnic groups, which may have implications for practice and policy.

Keywords

Parent involvement in education Educational attainment High school students Race/ethnicity Recursive partitioning 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Sharon Christ, Marilyn Hirth, and Shawn Whiteman for their feedback on this project.

Authors’ Contributions

Both authors made substantial contributions to this study. E.D. conceived of the study, performed the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. A.D. participated in the design and interpretation of the data, as well as revising the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Data Sharing Declaration

The datasets analyzed during the current study are publicly available from the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics at https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/els2002/avail_data.asp.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study design and use of the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 data were approved by the Purdue Institutional Review Board (protocol #1601016989).

Informed Consent

All data used in these analyses came from the publicly available Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Prior to data collection, state and district leaders consented to school participation and the sampling of students. Prior to questionnaire and test administration to students, parents were sent consent letters to notify them about the study. The full details regarding data collection procedures can be found here: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2004/2004405.pdf.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Postdoctoral Fellow, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational ResearchCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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