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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Relationship Between Parental Involvement and High School Graduation Among Different Ethnicity Groups

  • Author(s): Xu, Jing
  • Advisor(s): Palardy, Gregory J
  • et al.

Abstract: This study examines ethnic differences in the effects of multiple types of parental involvement (PI) on high school graduation. PI is theorized to include four distinct dimensions: parent-child communication, school involvement, home supervision, and aspiration. These four dimensions can be broken into a total of 10 sub-dimensions. Factor analysis is used to construct latent variables representing the sub-dimensions, which are subsequently included in a logistic regression model with graduating vs. not graduating as the outcomes. The model is first run on the full sample of students and then on each of four ethnic groups to examine for ethnic differences in the effects.

The results show that mean levels of PI differ across ethnic groups for all ten sub-dimensions. Of the ethnic groups, Asian parents tend to be least involved in discussions of schooling progress and in providing advice on schooling, while White parents help with homework least. Asian and Hispanic parents tend to contact the school and participate in school activities less than White or Black parents. Moreover, Black parents tend to set more rules, while Asian parents set limits and privileges based on children's performance most.

The effect of PI on graduation also differs across ethnic groups. Parent participation in school activities impacts graduation positively among all ethnic groups. Asian children benefit most from parents' participation in school activities and Black children benefit least from it. However, while most other PI dimensions are significantly associated with graduation for White students, which is not the case for ethnic minorities.

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