Ethnic differences in parent involvement are moderated by type of involvement scale

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Texas A&M University

This study examines ethnic group differences on different dimensions of parentrated and teacher-rated parent involvement after adjusting for the influence of family socioeconomic factors, and the role of involvement scale in moderating ethnic differences in parent involvement. Parents and teachers provided information on parent involvement for 476 first-grade children attending one of three school districts (1 urban, 2 small city) in Southwest Texas, who were recruited in two sequential cohorts to participate in a larger longitudinal study on the impact of grade retention on academic achievement and psychosocial outcomes. Parents rated the following four dimensions of parent involvement: Positive Perceptions about School, Communication, Parent-Teacher Shared Responsibility, and Parent School-Based Involvement. Teachers rated the following three dimensions of parent involvement: Alliance, General Parent Involvement, and Teacher Initiation of Involvement. The two research hypotheses generated for this study were partially supported by the data. As predicted, controlling for parent education and employment status, the data showed significant ethnic/racial group differences in Communication (parent-rated), Alliance (teacher-rated), and General Parent Involvement (teacher-rated). In addition, ethnic differences in parent involvement were moderated by the type of involvement for teacher ratings. However, contrary to prediction, no significant ethnic differences were found in Parent School- Based Involvement (parent-rated) whereas significant ethnic differences were noted in Parent-Teacher Shared Responsibility (parent-rated). In addition, ethnic differences in parent involvement were not moderated by the type of involvement for parent ratings. Current results demonstrated a low correspondence between parent ratings and teacher ratings on parents?????? school-based involvement. Possible explanations and implications for current findings and suggestions for future research were discussed.