Parental Involvement in Education

Parental Involvement in Education

Olivia Patrice-Chante' Miller (Catawba Valley Community College, USA) and Regina L. Banks-Hall (Concordia University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7835-2.ch007

Abstract

This chapter examines the key factors of parental involvement in relation to African-American students' academic success. Researchers identified that school failure is common among low-income African-American youth in the United States. This achievement gap requires a review of areas, such as poverty and crime, family environments, parenting styles, and academic race stereotypes, that could possibly affect African-American's academic achievement. Data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey revealed that opportunities exist in reducing poverty and crime in African-American communities. Additionally, factors such as school-district locations may impact African Americans' perception of education. Most low-income schools lack educational resources to support students with increased learning needs which leads to greater disparities in developmental outcomes. Using social-cognitive theory as a framework, the authors found that increased parental involvement may improve African-American students' self-efficacy for increased academic motivation.
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Poverty And Crime

Economists define poverty as the lack of income and resources to manage basic needs. When these basic needs are missing, they can also lead to deficits in other areas of need such as education, health challenges, hunger, unsafe living conditions, crime, social discrimination, and loss of hope (Johnson, 2016). Examples of this definition are present in many neighborhoods throughout the United States. Poverty is an environmental issue that creates exposure to violence and impacts African-American children living in low-income communities and distressed areas (Johnson, 2016). Poverty can influence access to and quality of education, which can often determine the success of a child in school. Wilson et al. (2013) conducted a study of African-American teens awaiting trial, related to their living conditions. Among this group of participants, 13% had witnessed the assault of a family member, 77% observed someone being beaten, shot, or killed, and 74% saw the death or severe injury of a loved one. Data from the U.S. Department of Education (2016) reveals that the percentage in poverty was highest for African-Americans (39%); while Whites and Asians were at 10%. Poverty and crime can impact a child's success with education, impacting African-American youth while they are engaged in school. Research indicates that African-American students' time spent in school and their exposure to poverty and crime may lead to violent classroom behavior (Johnson, 2013).

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