The Longitudinal Process of Early Parent Involvement on Student Achievement: A Path Analysis

Momoko Hayakawa, Michelle Englund, Mallory Warner-Richter, Arthur Reynolds



This longitudinal study investigated the process whereby early parent involvement in preschool effects student achievement from kindergarten through 6th grade. Participants were 1,539 low-income, mainly African American children and their mothers, in the Chicago Longitudinal Study. Program children (N = 989) received one or two years of the Child-Parent Center (CPC) program – a preschool intervention that strongly promoted parents’ development of parent involvement skills within the school and at home. Children from similar backgrounds who did not attend the CPC, but participated in available local resources (e.g. day care), were obtained as a comparison group (N = 550). Path analysis revealed an interactive process among parent involvement, academic achievement, and children’s motivation. Early parent involvement directly influenced kindergarten achievement, which in turn influenced first grade student motivation. Highly motivated children then encouraged parents to continue involvement. The cyclic nature of this process across elementary school was observed. The model accounted for 61% of the variance in 6th grade achievement. Findings suggest that early parent involvement promoted in the CPC program, sets the stage for subsequent parent involvement, student motivation, and academic achievement throughout early and middle childhood.

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