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Parental Involvement Strongly Impacts Student Achievement

ScienceDaily (May 28, 2008) — New research from the University of New Hampshire shows that students do much better in school when their parents are actively involved in their education.

Researchers Karen Smith Conway, professor of economics at the University of New Hampshire, and her colleague Andrew Houtenville, senior research associate at New Editions Consulting, found that parental involvement has a strong, positive effect on student achievement.

"Parental effort is consistently associated with higher levels of achievement, and the magnitude of the effect of parental effort is substantial. We found that schools would need to increase per-pupil spending by more than $1,000 in order to achieve the same results that are gained with parental involvement," Conway said.

The researchers used national data from more than 10,000 eighth-grade students in public and private schools, their parents, teachers, and school administrators. The researchers were particularly interested in how frequently parents discussed activities or events of particular interest to the child, discussed things the child studied in class, discussed selecting courses or programs at school, attended a school meeting, and volunteered at the child's school.