Parental involvement of Asian American immigrant mothers: Investigating social capital, English proficiency, length of U.S. residency, and social class

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The major purpose of the present study was to examine how the parent social and cultural contexts are related to Asian American immigrant mothers' educational involvement. This study investigated four parents' socio-cultural background variables: a) parent's social capital, b) parent's self-perceived English proficiency, c) parent's length of residence in the United States, and d) parent's social class status. In addition, the current study sought to determine the underlying dimensions of Asian American immigrant mothers' parental involvement in order to examine how parent social and cultural background factors influence each of the dimensions differently. The subjects for the current study were 597 nationally representative Asian American immigrant mothers who completed the parent questionnaire of the base-year Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS: 2002). Five dimensions of parental involvement were identified in the current study sample of Asian American immigrant mothers. These include parent's engagement in social activities with her child, parent's positive school contact, parent's monitoring, parent's school contact for problems, and parent's participation at school functions. A series of multiple regression and logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the relationships between parent's social and cultural backgrounds and each of five dimensions of the Asian American parental involvement. The results showed that Asian American immigrant mothers' social capital, English proficiency, and social class were significantly related to parent's engagement in social activities with her child. Further, mother's social capital, English proficiency, and social class status were significantly positively related to parent's monitoring. Of the various parent's social and cultural background variables, only parent's social capital significantly predicted Asian American immigrant mothers' positive school contact and participation at school functions. No relationship was found between parent social and cultural background variables and Asian American immigrant mothers' school contact for problems.