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School Community Journal, v25 n2 p35-54 2015

This study examined parental involvement as a mediator of the academic performance of middle school students with special needs. The study built on the different types of parental involvement theorized by Epstein and colleagues (2002) and studied empirically by Fan and Chen (2001). Using a specially developed questionnaire, a sample of 82 parents (representing all children enrolled in a special education program in a charter middle school in a diverse, urban environment) reported on the nature and extent of their involvement in their children's schoolwork. These ratings were then compared with their children's actual grades in four core classes over the course of the academic year. Echoing earlier findings with general population students, a significant relationship was found between parental expectations and overall GPA. Since Resource Room students had significantly lower grades than Special Day students (those in a self-contained, noninclusive classroom), parental communication and general involvement were negatively associated with academic performance in this sample, as had been the case earlier with similar groups of struggling students. Findings revealed a more complex relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement for special education students. These outcomes suggest that parental involvement with other student groups, grade levels, disabilities, and strengths may also be associated differently with other aspects of parental involvement and merit further study.

Descriptors: Parent Participation, Academic Achievement, Middle School Students, Disabilities, Special Education, Charter Schools, Urban Schools, Grades (Scholastic), Parents, Expectation, Grade Point Average, Resource Room Programs, Self Contained Classrooms, Comparative Analysis, Parent School Relationship, Intelligence Tests, Children, Questionnaires, Likert Scales, Middle School Teachers

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Autor: Flores de Apodaca, Roberto; Gentling, Dana G.; Steinhaus, Joanna K.; Rosenberg, Elena A.


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