Parental role construction, parent sense of efficacy, and perceptions of teacher invitations as factors influencing parent involvement

Jennifer Lynne Lupiani, Fordham University


Parents' involvement in their children's education has been found to be an important factor related to positive outcomes in children's academic performance and social competence. Questions remain, however, about the reasons and motivational bases for parents' choices to become involved in the home and school. Research has focused on demographic variables, such as income and parents' education. Although these variables have been found to be good predictors of parent involvement, they do not provide a clear understanding of the dynamic aspects of the parent-school relationship. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of why parents become involved in their children's education by examining the influence of parental role construction, parents' sense of efficacy, and teacher invitations on overall parent involvement. Two hundred primary caregivers of elementary school-aged children recruited from neutral activities not likely to be confounded with parent involvement in schools responded to Parent Role Construction and Parent Efficacy questionnaires, vignettes measuring dimensions of parent involvement and perceptions of teacher invitations, and a demographic survey. Two versions of the vignettes were randomly distributed: one included a progress report with a teacher invitation for parent involvement, and one included only a progress report. Half of the participants responded to the vignettes with the invitation, and half completed vignettes without the invitation. Path analysis was conducted to evaluate the effects of parent self-efficacy, parental role construction (i.e., parent-focused, school-focused, and partnership-focused), and perceptions of teacher invitations on overall parent involvement practices. Results indicated that school-focused and partnership-focused role constructions were directly related to overall parent involvement, while self-efficacy was indirectly related through parental role construction. Also, when teacher invitations were presented to parents, it was a powerful predictor of parent involvement and was directly related to overall parent involvement practices. While it appears that parents' feelings of efficacy and their beliefs about their role in their children's education are important in understanding their level of involvement, it is particularly important for parents to feel welcomed by the school.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Lupiani, Jennifer Lynne, "Parental role construction, parent sense of efficacy, and perceptions of teacher invitations as factors influencing parent involvement" (2004). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3134442.