Parent involvement continues to be important in elementary years

May 14, 2010

Promoting parent involvement has been a big part of efforts to improve school performance. A new study has found that children whose parents were more involved across elementary school had fewer problem behaviors and better social skills, but that children's academics weren't affected.

The study, in the May/June 2010 issue of the journal Child Development, is based on information about more than 1,300 children from 10 U.S. cities who were followed from birth to fifth grade. They are part of the Study of Early Childcare and Youth Development, a carried out under the auspices of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Extending past research that's focused on parent involvement among preschoolers, the researchers, from the University of Pittsburgh, sought to learn how parent involvement affects children's academic, social, and emotional well-being in elementary school. The children studied were mostly White and about evenly divided by gender.

According to the findings, when parents boosted their involvement in elementary school (by increasing visits to the school and encouraging educational progress at home), children's (including both aggressive and disruptive behaviors as well as anxiety and depression) decreased. At the same time, their so-called pro-social skills (such as and self-control) improved.

However, the parents' involvement didn't affect children's achievement. One explanation for the absence of such associations may be that the study's measure of parents' involvement didn't focus on involvement that was specific to .

"The study shows that parents continue to wield considerable influence on children's development through elementary school," according to the researchers. "Therefore, the study has implications for policies to encourage involvement."

Explore further: Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Reasons explored for making child repeat first grade

Jan 13, 2010

Reasons for requiring a child to repeat the first grade may go far beyond the basic "three R's," reveals a study by two Texas A&M University education psychologists. They say parents must often shoulder at least part of the ...

Recommended for you

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Apr 18, 2014

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

Apr 17, 2014

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

Apr 17, 2014

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

Apr 16, 2014

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Clippers and coiners in 16th-century England

In 2017 a new £1 coin will appear in our pockets with a design extremely difficult to forge. In the mid-16th century, Elizabeth I's government came up with a series of measures to deter "divers evil persons" ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.