ERIC Number: ED452982
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-May
Reference Count: N/A
Fathers' and Mothers' Involvement in Their Children's Schools by Family Type and Resident Status. National Household Education Survey. Statistical Analysis Report.
Nord, Christine Winquist; West, Jerry
Studies have found that students who live apart from one or both of their biological parents tend to do less well in school than students who live with both their biological parents. Some observers have speculated that differences in levels of parents' school involvement may account for observed disparities in academic outcomes. For this study, involvement at the high school level was defined as participating in at least three of four school activities: attending a general school meeting, attending regular parent-teacher conferences, attending a school or class event, or volunteering at school. Drawing on data from the 1996 National Household Education Survey, the study found that school involvement of biological parents is not the same across family types and that the involvement of stepparents is generally lower than that of biological parents: (1) biological mothers in stepfather families are less likely to be highly involved in their children's schools than biological mothers in two-biological-parent families; (2) biological fathers in stepmother families, on the other hand, are more likely to be highly involved in their children's schools than biological fathers in two-biological-parent families; (3) students living in father-only families are most likely of all students to have highly involved fathers; and (4) stepmothers are more likely than biological mothers, regardless of family type, to show low levels of involvement. Findings show that regardless of family type, parents' school involvement still makes a difference in students' school experiences. Fathers' involvement is associated with a higher likelihood of students getting mostly A's. Fathers' involvement in two-biological-parent families is associated with lower likelihood of students ever repeating a grade. School involvement of mothers, whether biological or step-, is associated with a lower likelihood of 6th through 12th graders ever being suspended or expelled. The study also found that although school involvement of parents who live apart from their children is lower than that of resident parents, some nonresident parents who have contact with their children are still involved in their children's schools. Although nonresident mothers are more likely than nonresident fathers to be involved, the benefits of their involvement are less apparent. (HTH)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Biological Parents, Family School Relationship, Family Structure, Fatherless Family, High School Students, High Schools, Motherless Family, Nuclear Family, One Parent Family, Parent Participation
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.; Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD.