Behavior in Elementary School Children Influenced by Parental Involvement

In ongoing quests to improve academic performance and opportunities among schoolchildren, those involved in education as well as child counseling and related fields have been placing a strong emphasis on parental involvement in scholastic life. A highlighted issue for many years, the involvement of parents in the fostering of positive academic habits and the establishment of a consistent presence in school life through frequent visits and other actions has been promoted as a crucial component of early academic success. Hoping to gauge the precise effect of parental involvement, researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recently published the results of a study which followed young children from their birth until the fifth grade.

The researchers looked at the impact of various modes of parent involvement in early scholastic life, from making frequent visits to the school to encouraging schoolwork and related themes at home. The results strongly suggested that increased involvement was linked to a lower instance of behavioral issues in school, and a connection between parent involvement and increased social skills was also found. Advantages in academic performance, however, were not seen, though the researchers note that this lack of advantage may be due to the absence of specific academic activities performed by parents during the study.

Still, the ability of parental involvement to improve behavior and social well-being suggests that a parent’s role in early scholastic life can be crucial for both success and for enjoyment, goals that may help children experience a better quality of schooling as they age and take on greater academic challenges. Though further study may be needed to determine the point at which the benefits of such involvement wanes, if any such point exists, the researchers note that their results demonstrate a significant indication of how helpful and essential early parental involvement in school can be.

© Copyright 2010 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Peter Pan

    Peter Pan

    May 21st, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    I couldn’t agree more…A kid whose parents take interest in his academics and extra curricular activities is bound to put in extra effort and most often be a better performer.I had a friend in school who was very intelligent but sadly his academics took a nosedive because his parents were both alcoholics and they paid no attention to his academics whatsoever.

  • Lisa


    May 22nd, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    Any time that parents are involved in the academic lives of their children you know that this is going to create a much more positive school environment for the child. They are more likely to perform at a higher academic level in school as well as experience fewer behavioral problems. I know that there are many parents who wish that they could be involved more but cannot due to work or other responsibilities but they can at leats make an effort to stay in touch with teachers and remian involved in that way. There are more than a few ways to be involved in your kids life to have a good idea of what is going on in school.

  • kelvin


    May 23rd, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    Schools make it hard for some parents to be there. They do not make programs or performances accesssible to working parents. That has been my experience.

  • monica s

    monica s

    May 24th, 2010 at 4:46 AM

    I was an elementary school teacher for a long time and I have to tell you that the kids of the parents who were at that schhol and made themselves known to teachers and administrators were the children who achieved, plain and simple.

    Now don’t get me wrong there were children who did not need that and did just fine, but the ones where you saw the parents there over and over again (eating lunch with their child, volunteering, etc) were the ones who also got involved in school issues and I think that overall had the most positive experience with school.

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