Effects of Parental Involvement on Academic Achievement

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By combining the findings of a meta-analysis, the paper Effects of Parental Involvement on Academic success: a Meta-Synthesis examined the effect of parental involvement on students' academic success. (Wilder, 2014). The goal of this piece was to determine the connection between parental involvement and students' academic success as evidenced by the findings of the meta-analyses. According to the author, parental involvement is a complicated problem made up of a number of different elements, such as parental involvement in school activities, homework help, and academic expectations for kids. (Wilder, 2014). The study conducted a qualitative research synthesis on various studies to find out the relationship between parental involvement and the academic achievement of students. In the meta-synthesis, nine studies were selected, and an overview was conducted consisting of the meta-analysis purpose and the guiding research questions (Wilder, 2014). The overview also involved a definition of parental involvement as well as a measure of academic achievement and findings. It is important to note that the summary only included those research questions pertaining to the goals of the meta-synthesis. Generally, parental involvement can be defined as the participation of parents in the educational experiences of their children (Young, Austin & Growe, 2013). However, various definitions of parental involvement emerged from the meta-analysis based on the different researchers’ research questions and underlying research topics. Some of the most common components of parental involvement that emerged from the meta-analyses include the communication on school activities, homework help, participation in school activities and educational expectations (Wilder, 2014).

Research findings

The study identified various generalizable findings regarding the relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement. A majority of meta-analyses found out an existing relationship between parental involvement and the academic achievement of students (Wilder, 2014). Additionally, the findings revealed that this relationship was strongest in cases where parental involvement was defined in terms of parental expectations for the children’s academic achievement (Wilder, 2014). In this case, parental expectations reflect the beliefs and attitudes of parents towards the education system including the subjects, school, and the teachers. There are high chances that the children are likely to emulate similar attitudes and beliefs as their parents and as a result, possessing high parental expectations can be vital for the children’s academic achievement (Wilder, 2014).

The findings relating to the impact of parental involvement on homework checking and assistance were surprising. Despite homework assistance being one of the most commonly practiced forms of at home assistance, the synthesized analysis found no positive relationship with student academic achievement (Wilder, 2014). A plausible explanation for this finding is that a majority of parents are incapable of teaching certain concepts and therefore, students are unlikely to benefit from this particular involvement. Findings relating to the effect of ethnicity on the relationship between academic achievement and parental involvement were consistent in denoting that this relationship is generalizable across race. However, some findings indicated a stronger impact in certain ethnic groups. The findings also indicated a strong relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement despite the concerns by ancillary research questions on the impact of multiple definitions of parental involvement (Wilder, 2014).

Article strengths

This article was a good reference because it answered various questions on parental involvement in the academic achievement of students. This article could be beneficial to leadership performance since it articulates various issues that can foster or hinder achievement. One of the strengths of this article is that it is able to develop a strong research foundation regarding the issue of effects of parental involvement on the academic achievement of students. The article undertook a meta-synthesis of various studies which is important in providing the best empirical evidence for informing policy and practice (Wilder, 2014). This article also bridges the existing gap on the abundance of research relating to parental involvement which has always given policymakers a challenge when distinguishing between individual studies and objectively selecting the appropriate research for their decisions. This article presents a synthesis of a wide range of research on parental involvement which is reflected through different methodologies, research questions, and findings (Wilder, 2014). The qualitative and quantitative syntheses are crucial in matching the existing research to the policymakers and other practitioners’ requirements. This article also applied a wide and the most appropriate scope for the meta-synthesis. This broader scope allowed for the involvement of the studies investigating the impact of parental involvement on academic achievement which had equally broader scopes. This good choice of scope also ensured that all findings were included in the meta-synthesis.

Article weaknesses

This article is not without weaknesses in terms of unanswered questions and methodological deficiencies. One significant weakness is that the article used various synthesized findings which were inconclusive in terms of the type of assessment used in measuring academic achievement. Some of the synthesized studies reported a stronger impact of parental involvement on academic achievement while using standardized tests (Wilder, 2014). Consequently, some other studies showed a greater effect while using non-standardized measures such as teacher ratings and grade point averages. The article also relied on inconsistent findings with regard to the definition of parental involvement by way of home supervision. Some of the studies used acknowledged a moderate impact of this involvement while few others found out an absence of any significant effect (Wilder, 2014). Another weakness is that the article does not appropriately explore how subject area affects the relationship between parental involvement and academic performance. Some of the existing findings also seem contradictory, particularly due to the fact that they are generalized across the subject area (Wilder, 2014).

Implications for future actions

This article on the role of parental involvement on academic achievement has various implications for future actions. Whereas the findings confirm that there is a significant relationship between parental involvement and the students’ academic performance, there is still a research gap that needs a deeper inquiry. One area which remains unclear is the strength of the impact of parental involvement across various measures (Booth & Dunn, 2013). There is a need for an investigation to determine the plausible rationale for promoting either the standardized or non-standardized measures. Sufficient evidence for confirming the appropriateness of one type of measure over another is also required. Another significant area of future action is on the research exploration of the impact of various disciplines on parental involvement (Castro et al., 2015). This is because different types of parental involvement are likely to be closely linked with the subject area. Finally, there is need to conduct additional research on the lack of relationship between the impact of parental involvement on homework and academic performance (Wilder, 2014). Future research needs to provide an explanation for this particular relationship based on our experiences as parents and teachers as well as empirically sound findings (Castro et al., 2015). Given that parental involvement in homework is the most commonly practiced form of school involvement, it is imperative to undertake various quantitative and qualitative studies to determine how it can lead to an improvement in students’ academic performance.


Booth, A., & Dunn, J. F. (Eds.). (2013). Family-school links: How do they affect educational outcomes?. Routledge.

Castro, M., Expósito-Casas, E., López-Martín, E., Lizasoain, L., Navarro-Asencio, E., & Gaviria, J. L. (2015). Parental involvement on student academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 14, 33-46.

Wilder, S. (2014). Effects of parental involvement on academic achievement: a meta-synthesis. Educational Review, 66(3), 377-397.

Young, C., Austin, S., & Growe, R. (2013). Defining parental involvement: Perception of school administrators. Education, 133(3), 291-297.

June 19, 2023

Higher Education

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