Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

5-2016

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia Foley

Committee Members

Cecil Blankenship, James Lampley, Pamela Scott

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the perception scores and the frequency of parental involvement for parents of students who have most recently completed elementary school (entering 6th grade) with parents of students who have most recently completed middle school (entering 9th grade) in a northeast Tennessee public school district.

Data were collected by surveys containing a short demographic section, a perceptions section, and a participation section. The population consisted of the parents of 544 sixth grade students from the district’s 2 middle schools and the parents of 578 ninth grade students from 1 district high school. From that population 115 sixth grade parents and 105 ninth grade parents responded. This study took place at the onset of the school year to address parents as their children were either entering 6th grade in middle school or 9th grade in high school.

Findings from the study indicate that there were significant differences between the parents of newly entering 6th graders and the parents of newly entering 9th graders in terms of home-based perception scores and frequency of participation. Specifically, parents of newly entering 6th graders had higher home-based perception scores and frequency of participation than parents of newly entering 9th graders. However, findings indicate that there was not a significant difference between the parent groups in terms of school-based perception scores and frequency of participation. When examined collectively (home-based and school-based combined), no significant differences were noted between the parent groups in terms of perception scores and frequency of participation. For each of these cases, independent samples t tests were used to determine if there were significant differences.

Findings from the study also indicate that positive relationships are present between parents’ perception scores and their frequency of participation. This was true for both home-based and school-based involvement at both grade levels. Pearson r tests revealed these relationships.

This study was important to help understand the perception scores and frequency of participation for parents of students in the middle school transition. Recommendations are made with the hopes of helping schools better tailor their parental involvement strategies to families they serve.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.