Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Parental Involvement and Children's Educational Performance: A Comparison of Filipino and U.S. Parents

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Parental Involvement and Children's Educational Performance: A Comparison of Filipino and U.S. Parents

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The degree of success which children have in school has been shown to be related to a wide variety of characteristics, including factors ranging from community characteristics to the schools themselves (Epstein and Sanders, 2002). The familial resources which children can utilize, though, are generally regarded as being even more influential in affecting academic performance (e.g., Englund et al., 2004; Furstenberg, 2004). Among the various forms of assistance which families can provide, parental involvement is perhaps the most essential, as it has been demonstrated to significantly affect children's academic success in numerous ways (Berthelsen and Walker, 2008; Fan, 2001; Hara, 1998). While researchers acknowledge the importance of parental involvement, particularly as it represents a form of social capital which parents can provide to their children (e.g., Hill et al., 2004), it is also necessary to recognize the cultural differences which might exist. Specifically, the relative influence of parental involvement may vary considerably, as a function of the cultural context (see Park, 2008).

Depending upon the cultural context, along with the nature of the schools themselves, the forms of parental involvement and the types of activities in which they can engage may vary considerably from one country to another (see Oswald et al., 1988). In U.S culture, for instance, American parents are generally expected to be highly involved in their children's lives, and to take on a very supportive role in their children's school activities (Epstein and Sanders, 2002). Even the context of the families themselves may affect the relationship between parental involvement and children's school performance, as differences in family structure (e.g., number of parents, number of siblings), family behaviors (e.g., parenting styles), and the socioeconomic traits of the family (e.g., family income) will likely vary from one country to another. In keeping with calls for more international studies on the relationship between parental involvement and children's school performance (see Park, 2008), the present study examines and compares samples from the United States and the Philippines. These two countries are each quite unique, as the manners in which parents and children interact are reflective of the history of each respective culture. It is within these cultural contexts that parental involvement and the respective social capital they are willing and able to provide to their children occurs, and may differ as a function of those contexts.

Parental Involvement

In general, parental involvement is regarded as the interaction and assistance which parents provide to their children and to their children's schools in order to somehow enhance or benefit their children's success in the classroom. The specific interpretation of parental involvement, though, has varied a bit from one researcher to another. Hill et al., (2004) posit that parental involvement pertains to such activities as parents volunteer work at school, communication and discussions with teachers and school administrators, assisting with homework, discussions about school and fiiture aspirations with their children, and the quality of parent-teacher relationships (see also Hill and Taylor, 2004). Ho and Willms (1996) argue that parental involvement contains four distinct elements: 1) home discussions, 2) home supervision, 3) school communication, and 4) school participation. However, Epstein (1992) suggests that parental involvement encompasses six forms: 1) parent behavior which creates a positive home learning environment, 2) parent-school communications, 3) parent assistance and volunteerism at school, 4) parent-school communications about home learning activities, 5) parental involvement in the decisionmaking processes within the school, and 6) parental access to educational resources in the larger community. According to Epstein (1992), these different forms of parental involvement can vary, depending upon the household, parental, school, and community characteristics of the child. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.