Title

Patterns of Puerto Rican parents' at-home academic involvement in their children's homework and home-study activities

Date of Completion

January 1998

Keywords

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Parent involvement has been recognized as an effective resource for fostering school success and psychological adjustment. Researchers state that parent involvement is effective for promoting linguistically and culturally diverse students' academic success (Comer, 1986, 1992; Inger, 1992; Ramírez-Smith, 1995). However, little research is available on the factors that influence Puerto Rican parents' participation in their children's education (Díaz-Soto, 1988, 1990; Rivera-Figueroa, 1992). The purpose of this study was to explore at-home involvement patterns of Puerto Rican parents in their children's education, and the effect of demographic variables on involvement. ^ The sample for this study consisted of 500 parents of Puerto Rican students from second through fifth grade in a mid-sized central Connecticut school district. Students were identified through the DRP® test (Degrees of Reading Power) records of April, 1996. ^ A researcher-developed LCD Parent Survey was mailed to collect information on parents' behaviors and demographic variables to ascertain the effect of such behaviors and variables on involvement at home. ^ Data were analyzed using statistical measurements such as means, standard deviations and percentages for demographic and behavior variables. T-tests, correlation procedures, factor analysis with orthogonal rotations, and multiple regression analyses were also employed. ^ Two factors were extracted from the survey items using a varimax solution: Parents' Guidance, Educational Assistance and Modeling Practices, and Parents' Expectations for Educational Success. The two factor solution accounted for 44% of the variation in the set of 24 items (one item did not load on any factor). This presents the probability that other variables not examined in this study influence involvement. Two demographic variables had a significant effect on involvement: education and family structure. ^ This research offers an opportunity for further investigation on parent involvement of case studies. However, because this study could not determine if study participants differed from non-participants, the results are limited to the sample. Thus, a replication of this research would be necessary if the results are to be generalized to other Puerto Rican parents. ^