Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1994


The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the attitudes of principals toward parent involvement in schools. The population for the study consisted of all public school elementary principals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A random sample procedure was employed and an instrument was developed specifically for the study. An initial and second mailing resulted in an overall response rate of 53%. Factor analysis identified 5 groupings in parent involvement. Factors were labeled: Decision-Making, Policy-Making, Home Tutor/Co-Learner, Socio-Economic Status, and Parent Desire and Expertise. Seven null hypotheses were formulated and tested for the study. It was found that principals, in general, strongly believe in parent involvement and feel responsible for initiating it. The gender of the principal did not impact their attitude toward parent involvement. Younger principals supported parents as home tutors and co-learners more so than older principals. Principals with elementary teaching experience believed involving lower socio-economic parents and middle and upper income parents equally attainable. They, likewise, believed all parents, regardless of socio-economic background, desire to be involved in the education of their children. Principals who majored in elementary education were found to be more supportive of parent involvement in school policy-making and parents as home tutors/co-learners. Principals of larger schools and principals of higher socio-economic schools were more supportive of parent observations in classrooms and parents as home tutors/co-learners. In general, principals were more supportive of parent involvement in policy-making (goal setting, budget planning, and curriculum issues) than in school decision-making (staff evaluations and hiring).

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted