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An analysis of the relationship between parental involvement and student achievement in Rhode Island elementary schools

Michael Dennis McLaughlin, Johnson & Wales University


Research has shown that the home, into which a child is born, is the most reliable predictor of that child's academic achievement (Coleman, 1966; Thornton, 2003). A portion of this influence is due to the direct role that parents play in the education of their children (Brough & Irvin, 2001; Epstein, 1997; Henderson & Mapp, 2002; Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 1995; White, 1982). Moreover, research on this relationship has been conducted using survey data that are gathered annually from students, parents, teachers, and administrators from across Rhode Island. This study was a secondary analysis of the parental involvement data that are collected annually for the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (RIDE) by the National Center on Public Education and Social Policy (NCPE). Using Rhode Island public elementary schools as its unit of analysis (n = 185), the study sought to investigate the relationship between parental involvement in Rhode Island public elementary schools and student achievement. The present study investigated this relationship through the analysis of the SALT survey data and student test data via the construction of a pair-wise correlation matrix and the performance of stepwise multiple regression and canonical correlation analyses. The percentage representing students eligible for free and reduced price meals will be introduced as a covariate (Coleman et al., 1966; Thornton, 2003) to control for socio-economic status. It was found that after socio-economic status was accounted for, parental involvement in general was moderately associated (r2 = .165, p < .05, n = 175, ES = medium) to student achievement in general, while specific relationships between specific parental involvement variables and specific student achievement variables were either non-existent or meaningless once socio-economic status was considered.

Subject Area

School administration|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

McLaughlin, Michael Dennis, "An analysis of the relationship between parental involvement and student achievement in Rhode Island elementary schools" (2006). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3234455.