Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. EA 3.3 Parental Involvement in Child’s School

01/01/2000

Many educators consider parental involvement in school activities to have a beneficial effect on children’s school performance. They associate higher levels of parental involvement with greater monitoring of school and classroom activities, a closer coordination of teacher and parent efforts, greater teacher attention to the child, and earlier identification of problems that might inhibit learning.50 Indeed, in two-parent families, parental involvement of both mothers and fathers in their child’s school is significantly associated with an increased likelihood of 1st- through 12th-grade children earning mostly A’s and with a reduced likelihood that these children will ever repeat a grade.51

Differences by Children’s Grade Level. Figure EA 3.3 presents national estimates for 1999 on the degree of parental school participation among parents of children in grades 3 through 5, 6 through 8, and 9 through 12. Possible activities include (1) attending general school meetings (e.g., a PTA meeting or back-to-school night), (2) going to a regularly scheduled parent/teacher conference, (3) attending a school or class event such as a play or sports event, and (4) volunteering at the school or serving on a school committee.52 As the figure indicates, the level of parental involvement in school activities decreases substantially as children get older.

  • Sixty-eight percent of children in grades 3 through 5 had parents who were classified as highly involved in their children’s schools, meaning that they had been involved in three or more types of activities described above during the school year.
  • Children in grades 6 through 8 and 9 through 12 had parents with substantially lower involvement levels, with 54 and 40 percent, respectively, classified as highly involved.
  • Just over one-third (35 percent) of children in grades 9 through 12 had parents who were classified as having a low level of involvement, defined as having participated in one or no school activities.

Differences by Race and Hispanic Origin.53 Parents of white children were more likely than parents of black or Hispanic children to be highly involved in their children’s schools at each grade level (see Table EA 3.3).

Differences by Socioeconomic Status. Children living in nonpoor households were much more likely to have highly involved parents than children living in poor households, for all grade levels. Children whose mothers had higher levels of education had more highly involved parents than children whose mothers had lower education levels, at all grades (see Table EA 3.3).

Differences by Family Structure. Children in two-parent families were more likely than children in single-parent families to have parents who were highly involved in school activities. For example, among students in grades 3 through 5, 73 percent of children with two parents had parents who were highly involved in their schools, compared with 59 percent of children with one or no parent (see Table EA 3.3).

Among children in two-parent families, mothers were more likely to be highly involved than fathers. For example, in 1999, about half of students in grades 6 through 8 had highly involved mothers, but only one-quarter had highly involved fathers (see Table EA 3.3).

Children in single-mother families were somewhat less likely to have highly involved mothers (44 percent for grades 6 through 8) than comparable children in two-parent families (52 percent). However, children in single-father families were more likely to have a highly involved father (50 percent for grades 6 through 8) than comparable children in two-parent families (29 percent).

Differences by Mother’s Employment Status. Children in grades 3 through 8 and whose mothers worked part-time (less than 35 hours per week) had more highly involved parents than 3rd through 8th graders whose mothers either worked full-time (35 hours or more per week) or who were not in the labor force. For instance, 76 percent of children in grades 3 through 5 whose mothers worked part-time had parents who were classified as highly involved, compared with 66 percent of children whose mothers worked full-time and 69 percent of children whose mothers were not in the labor force (see Table EA 3.3). Among children in grades 9 through 12, those whose mothers were in the labor force had more involved parents than children whose mothers were not in the labor force (see Table EA 3.3).

 

50 Zill, N., & Nord, C.W. 1994. Running in Place: How American Families Are Faring in a Changing Economy and Individualistic Society. Washington, D.C.: Child Trends.
51 Nord, C.W., Brimhall, D., & West, J. 1997. Fathers’ Involvement in Their Children's Schools. NCES 98-091. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics.
52 The level of involvement depends on the number of different activities reported by the parents, ranging from 0 or 1 (low involvement) to 2 (moderate involvement) to 3 or more activities (high involvement). Note that the number of times that the parent has been involved in each activity was not measured.
53 Estimates for whites and blacks exclude Hispanics of those races.

 

Table EA 3.3 Percentage of children in the United States whose parents are involved in their schools, by level of involvement,a grade, and child and family characteristics: 1999

 

Low Involvement

Moderate Involvement  High Involvement
  Grades
3-5
Grades
6-8
Grades
9-12
Grades
3-5
Grades
6-8
Grades
9-12
Grades
3-5
Grades
6-8
Grades
9-12
Total 13 21 35 19 26 26 68 54 40
Gender
Male 14 21 36 19 26 25 67 54 39
Female 11 20 34 19 25 26 70 55 40
Race and Hispanic origin
Whiteb 10 17 31 16 25 26 74 58 43
Blackb 19 27 40 24 28 26 58 45 34
Hispanicc 20 31 49 23 26 24 57 43 27
Poverty status
At or above poverty 10 17 32 17 25 26 73 59 43
Below poverty 21 35 48 27 29 25 53 36 26
Family structured
Two parents 10 17 31 17 24 25 73 59 45
     Mother 14 21 36 18 27 24 68 52 41
     Father 40 47 55 26 25 21 34 29 24
One or no parente 18 28 43 24 28 27 59 44 30
     Mother-only 17 29 42 22 28 28 61 44 30
     Father-only 18 22 38 25 28 25 57 50 37
     Nonparent guardian(s) 24 26 51 32 31 28 44 44 21
Mother's education levelf
Less than high school 27 38 58 30 28 26 44 34 16
High school/GED 17 24 41 21 28 25 62 48 35
Vocational/technical or some college 9 19 34 17 28 25 74 54 41
College graduate 6 11 20 13 18 27 81 71 53
Mother's employment statusf
35 hours or more per week 12 19 34 22 26 27 66 55 39
Less than 35 hours per week 8 18 30 16 24 24 76 59 46
Not in labor force 16 26 40 15 25 23 69 49 36

a Low involvement = involvement in 0 or 1 activity. Moderate involvement = involvement in 2 activities. High involvement = involvement in 3 or more activities . Possible activities include (1) attending general school meetings, (2) going to a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference, (3) attending a school or class event, and (4) volunteering at the school or serving on a school committee.
b Non-Hispanic.
c Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
d Parents include any combination of a biological, adoptive, step-, and foster mother and/or father. No parents in the household indicates that the child is living with nonparent guardians (e.g., grandparents).
e Estimates for single parent households may include involvement of other adults living in the household.
f Children without mothers in the home are not included in estimates of mother’s education or mother’s employment status. A mother is defined as a biological mother, adoptive mother, stepmother, foster mother, or female guardian (e.g., grandmother) who resides in the home with the child.
Note: Because of rounding, percents may not add to 100.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1996 National Household Education Survey. Tabulated by U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (unpublished).

 

Figure EA 3.3 Percentage of parental involvementa in child’s school activities by grade level, in the United States: 1999

a Low involvement = involvement in 0 or 1 activity. Moderate involvement = involvement in 2 activities. High involvement = involvement in 3 or more activities. Possible activities include (1) attending general school meetings, (2) going to a regularly scheduled parent-teacher conference, (3) attending a school or class event, and (4) volunteering at the school or serving on a school committee.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 1996 National Household Education Survey. Tabulated by U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (unpublished).
 

View full report

Preview
Download

"intro.pdf" (pdf, 633.22Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"PF1.pdf" (pdf, 391.08Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"PF2.pdf" (pdf, 574.76Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"PF3.pdf" (pdf, 554.29Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES1.pdf" (pdf, 338.59Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES2.pdf" (pdf, 555.35Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES3.pdf" (pdf, 582.37Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"ES4.pdf" (pdf, 555.87Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"HC1.pdf" (pdf, 373.14Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"HC2.pdf" (pdf, 725.89Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"HC3.pdf" (pdf, 586.99Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD1.pdf" (pdf, 607.16Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD2.pdf" (pdf, 628.97Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD3.pdf" (pdf, 722.74Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"SD4.pdf" (pdf, 689.79Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"EA1.pdf" (pdf, 429.55Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"EA2.pdf" (pdf, 633.06Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"EA3.pdf" (pdf, 648.96Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"Glossary.pdf" (pdf, 291.75Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®

View full report

Preview
Download

"Biblio.pdf" (pdf, 318.68Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®