The differential effects of parental involvement on high school completion and postsecondary attendance
Keywords: parental involvement; high school completion; postsecondary attendance
AbstractPrevious studies have shown the impact of parental involvement on a number of student achievement, motivation, and engagement outcomes, but the extent to which parental involvement influences high school completion and postsecondary attendance has received less attention in the literature. Filling that gap, this study replicates and extends previous research (Fan & Williams, 2010) by examining the influence of various dimensions of parental involvement on high school completion and postsecondary attendance (with particular interest in dropouts who later earned GEDs and went on to college). Results show that parents’ educational expectations for their children play a significant role in whether students from all backgrounds persist toward completion of high school and whether they attend a postsecondary institution. This study also finds parent participation in school functions to be a significant positive predictor of both high school completion and postsecondary enrollment, while communication between parent and school about children’s school problems is negatively associated with both outcomes. The implications for expanding developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive policies for family and school engagement are discussed.
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