The long-term effects of early parent involvement and parent expectation in the USA

John Mark Froiland, Aubrey Peterson, Mark L. Davison

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123 Scopus citations


Building on social-cognitive theory and the expectancy-value theory, this study indicated that early parent expectations for children's post-secondary educational attainment have a stronger effect on 8th-grade achievement than home-based parental involvement. With a nationally representative sample of kindergarten students and their parents in the United States of America, Structural Equation Modeling was employed in order to discern longitudinal effects on achievement via mediators. For instance, expectations held by parents in kindergarten exert much of their positive effect on adolescent academic achievement via expectations held in 8th grade. Student expectations (which are influenced by parental expectations) also significantly predict 8th grade achievement. Parent involvement in homework and grade checking in 8th grade has a slight negative effect on achievement. Home literacy in kindergarten predicts achievement in 8th grade indirectly via kindergarten achievement. These results indicate that parents can have a positive impact on academic achievement through early home literacy and maintaining a strong hope that their children will succeed in college. Because early parent expectations have long lasting effects on children, parent involvement interventions for young children need to be developed that also target elevating parental expectations. This study further clarifies the effects of the family environment on educational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-50
Number of pages18
JournalSchool Psychology International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by a grant from the Graham Fund for Children awarded to John Mark Froiland, as well as a grant from the Summer Support Initiative for Research at the University of Northern Colorado. The third author received support from Grant No. R305C050059 from the Institute of Education Sciences in the US Department of Education.

Copyright 2013 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Academic achievement
  • Structural Equation Models
  • adolescents
  • educational attainment
  • educational outcomes
  • family environment
  • parent expectations
  • parent involvement
  • parenting
  • student expectations


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