Parent involvement and student performance: the influence of school context

  • Ralph B. McNealJr.Email author
Original Article


Researchers focusing on parent involvement continue to concentrate their efforts on the relationship between involvement and student performance in isolation of the school context in which involvement occurs. This research outlines an ecology of involvement and how this social context affects parent involvement and student performance. Relying on Bronfrenbrenner’s (1979) theory of human ecology, I elaborate a theoretical model for how the social context of the school affects student performance and the parent involvement–student performance intersection. Analysis using the National Longitudinal Study (1988) supports the thesis that student performance and the relationship between parent involvement and student performance are contingent on the ecological context in which they occur. These findings highlight the need to extend investigations of parent–child interactions to include aspects of the various ecological contexts. Furthermore, the findings highlight the need for educators to modify their efforts to improve parent involvement contingent on the various ecological characteristics of the school.


Parent involvement School effects Academic achievement Social capital 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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