Social class, parental efficacy and parental involvement: Implications for parent education

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Parental involvement is generally defined as a multifaceted concept that encompasses a broad range of parenting practices that mobilize the resources of parents both at home and in school to maximize the benefits for their children (Fan & Chen, 2001). Parental involvement has attracted extensive research attention in the last decades because of its positive influence on children (Hong & Ho, 2005; Griffith, 1996). Studies show that the variation in the level of parental involvement depends largely on the socioeconomic status of the parents (Ho & Willms, 1996; Ice & Hoover-Dempsey, 2011). However, Bandura (1997) asserts that family socioeconomic status exerts only an indirect effect on child outcomes and argues that parental efficacy, which is defined as the beliefs of parents toward their contribution to their child’s schooling and development, may influence their choices of parental involvement. In particular, parents who feel confident in their ability to promote their child’s academic achievement are more likely to have higher levels of parental involvement than those who are not confident (Waanders, Medez, & Downer, 2007). However, limited studies have examined the relationships between parental efficacy and parental involvement in the early years (e.g., Pelletier & Brent, 2002). Therefore, this study is designed to extend the parental involvement literature using a preschool sample to determine the factors that influence parental involvement. In this study, approximately 300 upper kindergarten (K3) children aged 5-6 participated in this study. Parents reported on their socioeconomic background. Both parents and lead class teachers reported on parents’ involvement behaviors using the Chinese Early Parental Involvement Scale (Lau, Li, & Rao, 2012), while parents also completed the 10-item Parental Efficacy subscale of the Parental Locus of Control Scale (PLOC) (Campis, Lyman, & PrenticDunn, 1986). Data of this study is being collected and entered at the moment and data analysis will be completed in May. Specifically, the relations between family socioeconomic factors, parental efficacy and parental involvement will be explored. Implications for parent education will also be discussed based on the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


Lau, Y. H. E.(2015, June). Social class, parental efficacy and parental involvement: Implications for parent education. Paper presented at the 2015 Quality Childhood Conference International (QCCI) Enhancing Quality Childhood Education: Synergizing Global Efforts, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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