Date of Award:

12-2018

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Melanie M. Domenech Rodríguez

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Gretchen G. Peacock

Third Advisor:

Mary Ellen McClain Verdoes

Abstract

Parental involvement practices in education have traditionally referred to overt forms of involvement such as attending school meetings, parent teacher conferences, and volunteering at the school. Research suggests that Latinx parents do not utilize these approaches as much as they do subtler practices. These practices are manifested in parents’ communication with their children, their parenting styles, and the academic expectations they place on their children. The current study intended to recognize the parental practices used by Latinx parents that contribute to educational attainment and combat fixed beliefs regarding their lack of involvement in their children’s education. The data collection was completed via Qualtrics panel and funded by the CEHS Graduate Student Research Award grant.

The final sample consisted of 252 Latinx parents (age 18 or older) nationwide who had a child or children in kindergarten through sixth grades. Respondents reported being more involved in their children’s education than their parents. Each parenting variable was significantly associated with respondents’ academic outcomes with the exception of parental pressure. Results suggest intergenerational transmission of parenting practices regardless of acculturation level and support for a nuanced examination of predictors of academic achievement for Latinxs. Results also reflect vi Latinx parents’ involvement in their children’s education in meaningful ways. Parents’ level of acculturation played a role in the relationship between their self-reports and what they recalled about how they were parented. Specifically, the relationship between self-report and retrospective report of authoritarian parenting and parental pressure was strongest for respondents at the highest levels of Latinx acculturation and lowest at the lowest levels of Latinx acculturation. Overall, Latinx respondents appear to be following their parents’ parenting practices regardless of their level of acculturation, and these practices predict Latinxs’ educational attainment. Understanding how Latinx parents involve themselves in their children’s education debunks the myth that they are not involved and opens pathways to collaboration and support between these parents and the U.S. education system

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Psychology Commons

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