The effect of the Needy Child Program on the academic achievement of children and on the parental involvement and expectations in India

Gracy Bibiana Fernandes, Fordham University


This was a quasi-experimental, non-equivalent group study aimed at examining the effects of the Needy Child Program (NCP) of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association on the four major outcomes of (1) the child's Grade Point Average, (2) the child's social involvement, (3) parental involvement, and (4) parental expectations. The Needy Child Program is a one-to-one child sponsorship program to sustain children in school. A non-probability sample of 105 NCP children and their 105 parents was selected from three welfare agencies in the southwestern State of Kerala, India. The Non-NCP sample of 105 children and 105 parents was selected from a social service program from the Archdiocese of Ernakulam, Kerala. The two groups were matched on child and parent demographic and socioeconomic status. Data were collected between July and November 1992 from 207 mothers, two fathers, and one older sister interviewed by trained interviewers with an interview schedule. Baseline data on the outcomes were studied for Time One in 1988 when children and parents first entered NCP and again at Time Two in 1991 after a period of four years. The purpose of the study was (1) to examine if NCP made a difference in the outcomes at Time Two in 1991 and (2) if it did then control for the impact of the other independent variables and to determine if NCP still made an impact. The aim of the study was not to make a causal conclusion between NCP and the outcomes but to examine the strength of NCP as a "likely contributing factor." The child and parent demographic differences between the two groups were examined by the chi-square and the t-test. Repeated measures of MANOVA were used to examine the group differences between the major independent variable of NCP and the four outcomes between Time One and Time Two for the two groups. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to determine if NCP still contributed after controlling for the influence of the predictor variables of family background characteristics, parent motivation, learning environment, and the child's educational history. The findings relating to GPA indicated that the GPA of 1988 was the most important predictor of GPA for 1991 with a variance of forty-nine percent, but NCP emerged as the second most influential predictor with a variance of twenty-six percent. NCP was the single most important factor for the child's social involvement with a variance of forty-three percent. With reference to parental involvement NCP made a strongly positive effect with twenty-four percent of the variance explained, whereas parental expectations at Time One in 1988 had a greater variance of twenty-one percent than the NCP variance of eight percent. The study supported the hypothesis that the Needy Child Program did make a difference in the outcomes and contributed to the child's educational and social well-being with direct social services and opportunities for extra-curricular activities. The NCP parents were more involved with the child's education and had higher educational expectations. Based on the findings, recommendations were made to the local agencies in India and to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

Subject Area

Social work

Recommended Citation

Fernandes, Gracy Bibiana, "The effect of the Needy Child Program on the academic achievement of children and on the parental involvement and expectations in India" (1993). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9501432.