Parental Involvement in Children's Schooling Consistently Beneficial

by Sharita Forrest, UI News Bureau  /   Jun 20, 2019

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Experts have been divided in their advice to parents about how they can optimize their children’s academic, emotional and social development.

In a new study of more than 480,800 families, psychologists at the University of Illinois found that the more involved parents were in their children’s schooling, the better the children’s academic achievement, motivation and social adjustment. The effects were consistent regardless of the child’s age, race or socioeconomic status.

However, parents may want to be cautious about helping children with their homework. Greater parental involvement in children’s homework was linked with lower academic achievement, said the study’s authors, postdoctoral research associate Michael Barger and psychology professor Eva Pomerantz.

Barger and Pomerantz analyzed the findings of more than 440 recent studies,exploring the effects of parents’ involvement on children’s academic achievement, engagement and motivation; their social and emotional functioning, such as cooperative and prosocial behavior, and self-esteem; and delinquent behaviors like substance use and aggression.

Barger and Pomerantz also examined whether the type of parental involvement mattered – for example, if attending parent-teacher conferences or other events at the school had different effects than engaging in intellectual or cultural activities with the child outside of school. And they looked at the impact of the parent helping the child with homework.

“We saw a very consistent relationship between parents’ involvement in children’s schooling and children’s adjustment, and that is true across a variety of different types of parental involvement, regardless of the children’s age and the demographics of their families,” Barger said.

Read the full story from the UI News Bureau...