ERIC Number: ED340965
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug-20
School-Based Mutual Support Groups for Parents.
Simoni, Jane M.
Parental involvement in schooling has been shown to bolster student performance. However, eliciting parents' participation in their children's schooling has proven to be an elusive task, particularly among parents from lower socio-economic and ethnic minority backgrounds. To encourage parent involvement in the school setting, an intervention that directly addresses parents' needs was proposed. The intervention, which involved school-based mutual support groups (MSGs) for parents, was designed and successfully implemented among lower socio-economic status English- and Spanish-speaking parents. Phone interviews were conducted with 43 participants (14 English-speakers and 29 Spanish-speakers) and 53 nonparticipants (27 English-speakers and 26 Spanish-speakers) to investigate differences in demographics, perceptions of parenting stress and problems, propensity for help-seeking, attitudes towards school-based MSGs, psychological and social coping resources, and environmental factors. All participants and nonparticipants were mothers. Data from the interviews indicated that parents who opted to participate in the groups reported a greater need for social support and greater dissatisfaction with their present support systems. The participating parents also reported experiencing greater stress around their parenting role and lower levels of parenting competence. Finally, the participants appeared to possess less adequate psychological coping resources, specifically they reported lower levels of self-esteem and mastery and more "feeling bad." Results from the study suggest that MSGs may be a feasible intervention for low-income and ethnic minority parents. They also appear to be recruiting parents in need of social support and parenting skills. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991); for related handbook, see CG 023 921.