Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Human Development and Family Studies
Department name when degree awarded
Family, Consumer, and Human Development
Jeffrey P. Dew
Jeffrey P. Dew
Kathleen W. Piercy
E. Helen Berry
Academic success including high school completion is greatly important for today’s youth. Greater opportunities, such as college and work acceptance, are available to youth who graduate high school. For this reason, the differences that exist in high school completion rate across race and ethnicity as a nation are a major concern.
Research shows an association between parents being involved in their children’s education and students’ improved academic achievement. Parents can play a role in their children’s education and setting aside time to do so is a good place to start.
The present study used the American Time Use Survey to study the time that parents spend on children’s education within a 24-hour period across race and ethnicity. A second goal of this study recognized research suggesting differences may exist in the subgroups of one race and ethnic group. In order to more fully understand the time that parents spend on children’s education across race and ethnicity, this study focused in on the Latino American ethnic group.
Initial statistical analyses found differences in time spent on children’s education across race and ethnicity. However, a major component of this study was the inclusion of family structure and parent demographic variables. These included, parent age and gender, household income, the number of children in the home, and other variables. When family structure and parent demographic variables were included, the analyses did not find differences in time spent on children’s education.
The study results were different for the Latino American ethnic group. One group, Central and South Americans, had a higher likelihood of spending time on their children’s education. This continued after the family structure and parent demographic variables were included in the analyses.
Overall, this study shows that parents are not likely to be different across race and ethnicity in the time they spend on children’s education. Teachers and school administrators may use this information when seeking to improve parental academic involvement at school. Focusing on one race and ethnic group and viewing them as less involved may not be the best approach. This study found a few family structure and parent demographic indicators that may prove more efficient. Parents who could use guidance from schools to become more academically involved are fathers, employed parents, and parents who did not graduate from high school.
The findings from the Latino American ethnic group presented the Central and South Americans as being more likely to spend time on their children’s education. Researchers, policymakers, teachers, and administrators can use this finding to see that differences exist among subgroups usually termed as being one umbrella ethnic category. Future research seeking to learn about parental academic involvement in Latino American families may benefit from focusing on individual subgroups.
Garcia, Zurishaddai A., "Race and Ethnic Differences in Parent Time Spent on Children's Education" (2013). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations, Spring 1920 to Summer 2023. 1535.
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