Parenting as a protective process for school success in children from homeless families

Donna Miliotis, Arturo Sesma, Ann S Masten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The role of parenting as a protective process for school success was investigated among 59 African American children 6 to 11 years old from homeless families residing in a Minneapolis shelter. Reliable scores for three dimensions of parenting—parent-child closeness, parent involvement in education, and firm discipline—were derived from ratings based on interviews with parents while they were living at the shelter. After families had left the shelter, children’s school success was assessed via three types of indicators: a) performance on a standardized achievement test; b) ratings of school records for the current school semester as well as cumulative school records; and c) teacher assessments of appropriate school behavior. Results suggested that good parenting may be protective for school success in these children. Close parent-child relationships and high parent involvement in the child’s education were associated with school success in terms of school records of achievement and behavior in school. Parent’s intellectual functioning, education level, psychological distress and firm disciplinary practices were unrelated to child academic success. Future research directions and implications for intervention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-133
Number of pages23
JournalEarly Education and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


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