This study investigated the association between parent involvement in early intervention and children's later school competence. Parents (N = 704) of children participating in the Chicago Longitudinal Study were interviewed retrospectively about their school involvement in preschool and kindergarten. Parents reported on the activities in which they participated and their frequency of program participation. Results indicated that even after controlling for family background, the number of activities in which parents participated in preschool and kindergarten was significantly associated with higher reading achievement, with lower rates of grade retention at age 14 (eighth grade), and with fewer years in special education. The frequency of parent involvement was only marginally associated with reading achievement but was associated with lower rates of grade retention and fewer years in special education. A confirmatory analysis indicated that teacher ratings of parent involvement in first and second grade were significantly associated with higher reading achievement in eighth grade, lower grade retention rates, and lower rates of special education placement through eighth grade. Findings support the benefits of parent involvement in early childhood programs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The Chicago Longitudinal Study is an ongoing study conducted at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in collaboration with the Department of Early Childhood Education, Chicago Public Schools. This research is supported by grants from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R29HD34294) and the Office of Educational Improvement (R306F960055). A previous version of this paper was presented at the Head Start's Fourth National Conference, July 10, 1998, Washington, D.C.
- At-risk children
- Early intervention
- Parent involvement
- School achievement