Parent Involvement in Elementary School and High-School Success: Is There a Connection?

Wendy T. Miedel and Arthur J. Reynolds


While educational success in high school can be linked to elementary school achievement, there is little evidence that parent involvement in elementary school provides lasting benefits to children through high school. Using data from the Chicago Longitudinal Study (an investigation of school processes for children considered at-risk because of economic disadvantage), this study attempted to determine if parent involvement in elementary school and at home leads to greater school success in high school. Parent involvement in school (based on teacher and parent reports) and parent reports of home involvement were used to determine if greater reported parent involvement was associated with indicators of school success. Results indicated that even after controlling for background characteristics and risk factors, parent involvement in school was significantly but modestly associated with lower rates of high school dropout, increased on-time graduation, higher grade point average, and fewer days absent from high school. Controlling for background factors, home involvement was only associated with grade point average. This study suggests that parent involvement is indeed an important component in early childhood education to help sustain long-term benefits of early intervention programs.

Paper presented at SRCD Research Conference, April , 1999.