IS THERE AN OPTIMAL LEVEL OF PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN ADOLESCENTS' ACADEMIC LIVES?
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This study examined how specific types of parental involvement were related to academic achievement, locus of control, and autonomy. The sample consisted of 14,747 eighth graders and their parents who completed the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. Twenty parent involvement variables from the first phase of NELS:88 were factor-analyzed to create ten parent involvement composites, whose relationship to achievement, autonomy, and locus of control was assessed using planned, step-wise multiple regression analyses. The three outcome variables were measured during the second follow-up phase of NELS:88, which took place while the participants were in twelfth grade. A socioeconomic status composite, which included family income and parents' education, was statistically controlled. The study aimed to look for both linear and nonlinear relationships between parental involvement and each of the outcome variables. Socioeconomic status was a statistically significant predictor of achievement, autonomy, and locus of control. This study found that while there were statistically significant relationships between some of the parental involvement measures and each of the outcome variables, the effect sizes were too small to be practically or theoretically significant. The findings of this study have implications for school policies that employ parent involvement to increase student achievement.