Parent involvement and views of school success: The role of parents' Latino and White American cultural orientations

Authors


  • This research was supported by the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and National Institute of Mental Health Grant R01MH62061.

    We are grateful to the administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, students, and the many research assistants and translators who assisted us with this research.

Abstract

We examined ethnicity and cultural orientation as predictors of parents' views of and involvement in children's education, using data gathered from the Latino (n = 74) and non-Latino (17 White and 13 ethnic minority) parents of children in an elementary school's dual-language program. Parents completed a questionnaire that assessed Latino and White American cultural orientations, importance of children's academic and social success, and self- and significant other involvement in children's education. Results indicated that Latino (and other ethnic minority) parents valued academic and social success equally and more strongly than did Whites and that Whites valued social success more strongly than academic success. Latinos also reported greater involvement of significant others. These differences were largely accounted for by cultural orientations. Educational practices that take into account differences in cultural orientations and the involvement of significant others thus seem more likely to improve academic outcomes than do efforts intended to promote the valuing of education. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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