Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Anthony Picciano

Committee Members

Carol Korn-Burzstyn

Nicholas Michelli

Subject Categories

Educational Leadership | Ethnic Studies | Other Education | Urban Education


barriers to involvement, minority education, parental involvement, cultural capital, social capital, achievement equity


Parental involvement has long been held as a critical variable in the academic outcomes of students. While research in this area consistently cites the positive impact of parental involvement across all racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups, much still remain to be discovered regarding the parental involvement as well as the cultural parental practices that are unique to low income African American, Hispanic, and immigrant parents and families. Furthermore, this population of parents faces barriers to involvement that provide challenges not only for families but also for schools. Administrators and teachers in the k-12 settings must still consider the forms of capital that these families bring to bear to navigate and to help their children succeed academically.

This study uses a quantitative approach to research and aims to examine how parents describe and interpret parental involvement and to understand behaviors and attitudes that impact levels of parental involvement. Most importantly also is what can be viewed as barriers to conforming to the prevalent, widely accepted concept of parental involvement. On the other hand, schools must re-tool their approaches to shore up, rebuild, and increase parent involvement for the benefit of their students and do so in a current atmosphere that can be viewed as potentially threatening to immigrant families and in the face of persistent poverty and insidious racism.