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Understanding Parent Engagement and Culturally Responsive Practices to Promote Parental Involvement at Home and at School


Given the increased emphasis on promoting culturally-responsive schools, this dissertation study sought to develop and validate a new measure of school cultural congruity that can be used in primary and secondary education settings to evaluate parents’ perspectives of the cultural fit between their family and the school their child attends, the School Cultural Congruity Scale (SCCS). Part one of this dissertation discusses the need and purpose of the SCCS, measure development process, and pilot exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses with 601 parents of children attending school in the United States between kindergarten through 12th grade. Pilot study results suggest that the SCCS demonstrates adequate construct validity that warrants further investigation. Part two of this dissertation investigated the associations between cultural congruity, parent efficacy, and parent stress as predictors of parent engagement at home and at school. Part 2 of the study included a sample of 423 parents of students attending elementary school (kindergarten-5th grade) in the United States. Results revealed that school cultural congruity, parenting efficacy, and parenting stress are significant predictors of parental engagement. Results from part 2 study revealed that cultural congruity between families and schools, parenting efficacy, and parenting stress are significantly positively associated with parental engagement at school. Additionally, results indicated that cultural congruity is not a significant predictor of parental engagement at home, whereas, parenting efficacy is a significant positive predictor and parenting stress is a significant negative predictor of parental engagement at home.

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