Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Anita Pankake
Dr. Marie Simonsson
Dr. Miguel de los Santos
Parents interact with school officials as social actors, with the cultural and social capital they possess. The school as a social institution operates within given processes to deliver educational services. The needs of both the parent and the school system may not always be suited to a harmonious relationship: still, it is possible to build a system to close that gap. In such a system each can reach across to help one another. This happens when schools understand the social forces that motivate parents to become involved with schools for the sake of their children. This study surveyed Mexican-American parents at two elementary schools in the Rio Grande Valley to determine if parent beliefs and networks served as predictors of parent involvement at home and at school. Unique to this study was the inclusion of a generation score for the families of the respondents. This was achieved by gathering data on the birth origin of respondents, their parents and grandparents.
Following preliminary analyses, the data were subjected to multiple regression analyses. Findings revealed networks and beliefs were significant predictors of parent involvement for Mexican-American parents. Implications for schools suggest a need to determine if their efforts at involving parents currently incorporate this knowledge about the social forces that serve to predict parent involvement and to incorporate these factors into their outreach efforts.
University of Texas-Pan American