Multidimensional measurement of parent involvement and its relationship to parent and child adjustment

Gwendolyn Yvette Davis, University of Pennsylvania


Parent involvement is consistently ranked high among the key components of effective schools by researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, and as a result is one of the brightest prospects for the future of public education. How parent involvement is defined and measured is a matter of debate and the research literature reveals multiple ways of approaching it. This study sought to develop a reliable measure of parent involvement that included previously unidentified aspects. Hypotheses regarding the impact of ecological and demographic factors on parents as they provide guidance to their preschoolers were proposed. Using a factor analytic and basic research analysis approach, 355 parents were administered the Parent Involvement in Education Scale (PIES). In addition to the factor analytic work of the PIES, several other measures of family demographics, parental psychological adjustment (e.g., self-esteem and social introversion), child psychological adjustment (i.e., learning behaviors), and ecological adjustment (life stressors and exposure to Head Start context) were administered to determine construct and criterion validity of the PIES and identified factors. Results identified four moderately reliable parent involvement factors reflecting Home Monitoring, School Engagement, School Presence, and Educational Preparation. Only Home Monitoring was found to positively influence the Attitude Toward Learning and Competence Motivation of preschoolers learning behavior as rated by their teachers. In addition, it was found that parents with higher scores in low self-esteem and social introversion were more likely to score lower on all of the levels of parent involvement. Worries about finances and crime in the community led to higher Education Preparation scores in this sample. Finally, Education Preparation, Home Monitoring and School Presence scores were significantly at different levels of educational level, years of exposure to the Head Start environment, school role served in Head Start, and ecological stressors. Ecological factors play a significant role in Parent involvement attitudes but this role varies depending upon the type of parent involvement one is investigating. The implications for understanding the different types of parent involvement and their relative contributions to educational success of children are discussed.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Preschool education

Recommended Citation

Davis, Gwendolyn Yvette, "Multidimensional measurement of parent involvement and its relationship to parent and child adjustment" (1999). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9953520.