Lack of Parental Involvement in Education and How It Affects Children and Their Academic Success


Parental involvement in the education of their children is undoubted of great significance in the academic achievement of the student. This research project examines the importance of parental involvement as well as the consequences of their lack of involvement in their children’s education. Because not all parents participate actively in the education process of their children, the paper also investigates the reasons why some parents don’t get fully involved. The ways through which schools and teachers can have parents get involved actively in educating their kids at home is also closely examined.



Problem Statement

As observed by Bryan (2005) it is very likely for students to perform below their potential if parents are not actively involved in their academic progress. However, despite this problem parents are seen still not to be fully involved in their children’s school activities. As revealed by Wanat (1992), this problem is mainly a result of lack of time or expertise on the side of the parent.


The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which the involvement of parents in academic process has been lacking and the impact it has caused on the achievement of the children.

Description of the study area

This project will involve a population of students from both junior primary and senior classes so as to compare the involvement across the levels. Parents’ involvement is basically thought to be more intense with younger children and reduces as the children grow up and move up through the academic ladder (Dixon, 1992). The selection of the population shall be done carefully to ensure fair representation in both cultural diversity and age. The parents’ participation shall also be monitored to involve parents with different academic achievements. Finally the household, of the participating sample shall consist of different numbers of children because as Smith (2002) observes, a large number of siblings can be a cause of reduced attention (per child) from the parents.

Writers Role

  1. The writer’s role as a teacher in the Kindergarten include;
  2. The writer is responsible for scheduling individual tutoring.
  3. The writer is responsible for coordinating with instructors to keep everyone informed on a struggling students’ progress.
  4. The writer frequently administers placement tests and makes recommendations and referrals to the student and their counselors.

Study of the Problem

  1. Poor Students performance.
  2. Lack of parental involvement.

Literature review

Based on the reviewed literature there is a significant correlation between parent involvement and student education performance (Cooper et al, 2000). This is because the involvement of the parents acts as a motivation and inspiration in the side of the students who in turn work hard and eventually realize better school grades. However, full involvement of the parents has been deterred by;

  1. Over-indulgence in office work by parents. Some parents are found to have more than one job so as to meet the requirement of the family.
  2. Low level of education makes some of the affected parents feel uneasy with school work and they therefore prefer to stay away (Constantino, 2007).
  3. Low social background of parents as compared to that of the teachers, keeps off many parents from freely interacting with the teachers to follow up on the academic performance of their children (Desforges, 2003).

Outcomes and Analysis

Goals and Expectations

This chapter introduces the methods that shall be employed in the proposed study. It also examines in detail the research instruments to be used.

With appropriate information parents can get more involved in the academic progress of their children and as a result the improved performance can be realized. The findings of this paper can work as an eye-opener to those parents who have been slow in taking steps of active involvement and will challenge them to do as much as they can afford based on their academic level and availability.

Expected Outcome

With proper implementation of the findings it is expected that the involvement of the parents in the school activities both at home and in schools will improve by more than 50%. This shall be measured by the rise in the number of parents enquiring about their children from the teachers at schools and the rise in the number of parents offering to assist their children with their homework at home by either supervising, checking for accuracy or assisting in the actual homework. At the same time the performance of the students is expected to rise by 20%. This will be measured by monitoring the performance of the student who had been affected by lack of involvement of their parents and comparing their grades with after having the parents actively involved in their studies.

Measurement of outcomes

To measure the expected outcomes, the study will adopt stratified and purposive sampling techniques. Purposive sampling technique involves the researcher deciding on whom to include in the sample. In this study, the technique will be useful in collecting focused information.

Analysis of results

The data on the participation of the parents in the academic achievement of the students shall be captured and recorded in excel tables and analyzed by use of SPSS program. According to Patton (2002), SPSS is the best program to analyze such kind of data for it offers diverse options through which the data can be processed. The information shall be useful in tracking the performance of the students whose parents shall be found not to be involved in the process initially. The trend on the involvement of the parents and the expected improvement of the students shall then be monitored through charts and linear graphs. The resultant data shall be used to study the effect of lack of involvement of the parents based on eventual students’ grades.

Description of selected solutions

To ensure that the objectives are realized the following steps shall be taken;

  1. Campaigns shall be carried out on the importance of parents’ involvement in education process for their children.
  2. Classroom teachers shall be requested to track the performance of the students based on parental involvement.
  3. Students shall be instructed on how to take advantage of their parents/guardians in their education.

Solution Strategy

Statement of Problem

This research proposal was to examine the aftermath of parents’ lack of involvement in their children’s academic work and how it can affect their academic progress.


From the research findings, it is evident that parents’ involvement in their children education is very vital for the children academic success

Selected Solutions

The parents should find time to attend meetings in school more often. They should as well be made aware that their children’s good performance depends on their involvement, and therefore they should be encouraged to assist and supervise their kids when doing their homework.


Parents’ involvement in any manner in a child’s academic affairs, results in advancement in performance (Dixon, 1992, p.16). Studies have shown that children are more probable to have higher academic performance levels and enhanced behavior when parents get involved in their education (Bryan, 2005). CChildren’sintellectual, language and social abilities can be influenced by their parents’ participation in education, financial status of the family as well as the home environment. Research shows that family relations are very important in the early years of a child before joining school (Bergsten, 1988, Hill, 2001 and Wynn, 2002).

Parental involvement in child’s academic work both in and out of school has had a great significance to a child’s success. Studies however reveal that parental involvement progressively falls off as a child grows older from kindergarten through secondary school to the highest institution of learning (Stouffer, 1992, p.6).

Parents may not be in a position to fully get involved in their children’s education due to lack of expertise or time (Wanat, 1992, p.47). Another factor that contributes to parents’ lack of involvement in their own achievement in Education (Dixon 1992, p 15., Vandergrift & Green, 1992, p.58). They may consider themselves not having the know-how needed in school. Some parents pay no attention to education matters and therefore take education to be of no significance (Vandergrift & Green, 1992, p.59).

Parental involvement in children’s schooling is acknowledged as vital by teachers and decision/policymakers equally. The US Department of Education, aim is that all schools shall encourage partnership that will raise parent contribution and attachment in enhancing the social, emotional, and intellectual development in children (Hill, 2001).

Education is not only the task of the educators but also of learners, parents, and the society. Schools alone cannot sufficiently accomplish helping learners conquer the impediments they encounter every day. Parental involvement declines as students transit from elementary to middle school level. Several factors explain this decline ranging from financial levels, parent occupation, parent level of education, surrounding environment, time availability, and school factors (Constantino, 2007).

A number of studies have investigated the effects of parent involvement in children’s education and socio-economic role in determination of parents’ involvement levels but little has been done to investigate the impacts of lack of parental involvement in children’s education. This research gives a more thorough look at parental involvement in their children’s education and the impacts the absence of parental involvement has on children’s academic success.

Statement of the Problem

Academic success can be associated with many factors ranging from the teacher’s factors, the learner to the parental factors. Studies have revealed that parent participation in their children’s education both at school and out of school contributes significantly towards good performance. However, parents don’t always take this responsibility either because of valid reasons such as limited time, lack of a certain needed level of education, having an unsuccessful history in school (Brink and Chandler, 1993, p. 26; Smith, 1991, p. 700) or even lack interest. Whatever the reason for parents’ lack of participation in their children’s education, it is important for them to know their significant role in the academic success of their children and what effects the lack of this crucial involvement has on the children’s academic performance. This study therefore seeks to find how parental involvement in children’s education correlates with children’s academic success.

Purpose of the Study

The academic success of children has been associated with the involvement of parents (Dixon, 1992, p.16). The purpose of this study is founded therefore on examining the degree of parental involvement in children’s academic work. It will also focus on the major difficulties faced by parents in their involvement in children’s academic success. Thirdly it will realize the relationship between children, learning institutions, instructors and parents and examine the impacts of lack of the parental involvement in children’s education and how it affects their academic success.

The primary research question in this paper is:

  • What is the significance of parental involvement to children and how does lack of it affect their academic success?

To aid in widening the scope of the primary research question, further specific questions will be adopted for analysis in this study. The specific questions to be analyzed are as follows;

  • In what ways do parents involve themselves in their children’s education?
  • What hinders parents from being involved in their children’s education?
  • In what ways can parents be encouraged to get more involved in their children’s education?
  • How does parental involvement in children’s education affect their academic performance?
  • How does lack of parental involvement in children’s education affect their academic performance?

Literature review

Lack of Parent Involvement in Education

In today’s world it is believed that education is the key to a successful life and with this in mind, parents start saving early for their children’s education so as to make sure they attend the best schools and get the best education. Parents also go to extremes of hiring a tuition teacher to coach their children from home when on holiday and during the weekends. All these efforts do not automatically result in academic success of the child. Parents can provide all luxuries to their children but without a direct involvement in the education of their child, academic success may not be achieved.

Studies have been carried out to evaluate the correlation between parent involvement and student education performance (Cooper et al, 2000). After an interview of 286 students in grades 4, 5, and 6, the researcher found out that where parents were in a position to offer guidance to their children and were tending towards supervising the home-study, their children performed very well in school. However, where the parents were incapable of guiding and supervising their children’s home-study due to given reasons such as illiteracy, poverty, and cultural aspects among other factors, their children recorded slow advancement or did not succeed in their academic activities (Cooper et al, 2000). As of 1916, schools and societies have both transformed considerably, nonetheless the fundamental results of his study are constant with current study. A number of studies have concluded that parent participation in school is directly associated with educational performance. Study has tremendously exhibited that learners are more probable to have high academic performance level and enhanced behavior when parents are participating in the pupil’s education (Bryan, 2005).

Scholars have recognized parent academic achievement as a predictor of their children’s academic performance (Constantino, 2007, Depleanty et al, 2007).

Parent academic achievement level has been optimistically correlated to parent participation in children schooling (Bergsten, 1989 & Depleanty et al, 2007). In particular, mother’s education level in contrast with father’s education level was established to be strongly linked to the extent of parental involvement in school activity, together with students’ hopes, inspiration, and accomplishment (Depleanty et al, 2007). Depleanty (2007) established that parents with a higher level of education were more probable to be aggressive in school activities, Parent Teacher Association meetings, and parent-teacher conferences. Family earnings are correlated with parent education degree, thus, parents with low income might have had pessimistic experiences with schools and are not capable of giving their children the skills to go through the school system effectively. This eventually can unconstructively influence their school achievement (Hill, 2001). Families with high education achievement are more competent than less educated parents to assist children with their homework (Depleanty et al, 2007). Parent participation in homework might as well reduce from elementary school to middle school through to junior high school as a result of some parents being less conversant in subject matter in higher grade levels (Constantino, 2007 & Depleanty et al, 2007). It is crucial for instructors to develop an understanding of children’s and parents’ backgrounds. This information could help educators in sufficiently deciding the practicable techniques for students and how to incorporate parents in their schooling.

The practice of handing over homework is not a new occurrence but which have been marked by a number of eras. Homework is defined as and assignments that are given by educators and meant to be performed during non-school periods (Holler & Lovelace, 2001). In the beginning, homework was given as a punishment to learners but was integrated into the curriculum as a means of widening learning in the 50s. In 60s, teachers reduced the workload given to students due to fear that too much work would result in mental stress. The educational restructuring of the 70s resulted in teachers reexamining student learning and it was discovered that increased home assignment led to improved student achievement (Holler and Lovelace, 2001). Currently, school homework is utilized to achieve three main aims namely; academic achievement, improved responsiveness, and parental participation (Holler & Lovelace, 2001). Despite some observation by some scholars that homework does more harm than good (Kohn, 2006), many teachers believe that homework leads to improvement in performance, improve students’ organizational and learning abilities, support students to become autonomous and critical thinkers, and engage parent directly in their children’s education. However, Holler and Lovelace (2001) discovered that fifty-one percent of all the homework given is uncompleted classwork. This reveals that the school’s established goals are not at all times mirrored in the homework given to many students, and that homework in its current state does not help learner learning or achievement.

The impacts of parental involvement in homework in connection with academic performance produce the same perplexing results. Scholars have discovered that the most important forecaster of academic successes is grounded in the home, particularly parental involvement with homework and home-learning activities (Carpenter et al, 2006). The study has exhibited that parental relations in the completion of homework are a significant feature for the improvement of parental participation. Parental participation in homework is the biggest feature for enhancing academic achievement (Bailey et al, 2004 Marchant et al, 2001). By enhancing parents’ participation, the home school relationship gets better and eventually student performance is made better (Bailey, 2004). Families vary in the resources of time, room and equipment in addition to financial means (Cooper et al 2000). A small number of parents with low academic success are engaged in their children’s homework (Bailey et al, 2004). The efficient model of homework might raise the involvement of both parents and children which may influence student accomplishment. Giving homework that catches the attention of parents may provide aid in the finishing of homework, which as a result enhances academic achievement.

Efficient home-work comprises chances for children to relate significantly with parents in that parents are attracted to the work and the children create their own understanding within a social and physical atmosphere (Bailey et al, 2004). This description allies with the constructivist theory of learning, that human beings construct information and meaning from their familiarities. Home-work should be modeled and given on the premises of consideration of the varied parent and student populace (Bailey et al, 2004). Scholars established that in spite of socioeconomic class, literacy can be enhanced when parents get engaged in homework. This was established to be accurate not only across social-economic status but also across ethnic attributes (Bailey et al 2004 and Jeynes, 2007). In order for homework to realize its full potentials, educators require to create lessons that include features of parents’ participation that stimulate parents to aggressively participate in their children’s education. Although parent participation in homework can be utilized to hasten students’ learning, in some cases it has been known to interfere with learning. Parent participation may lead to enhanced student learning under certain conditions and interfere in other conditions (Cooper et al, 2000). At the time of finishing the homework, if parents were not in a position to assume the responsibility of the educator due to reasons such as they were uneducated or were unfamiliar with the subject matter or if they employed different instructing methods than those of the educator, learner performance reduces. In addition, direct parent participation in homework leads to undue demands on the pupil to finish the homework and do it well which creates anticipations incoherent with their capabilities. Some exceedingly engaged parents go beyond assisting their children but give the correct answers for the assignment or even complete the assignment on behalf of their children (Cooper et al, 2000). Though those parents who assist their children do it with good intentions, they need to know that doing the work for the child denials that child an opportunity to learn and grow. It is essential for learner success that parents participate in school but there should be a balance that parents, educators, and learners work mutually to attain.

Types of parents’ involvement in children’s Education

There is no doubt that parents are the first teachers of their own children (primary National strategy, 2004:5) and that children learn most of the basic things in life from their parents. It is in knowledge of this that some parents start getting involved in their children’s education from an early pre-school age such that by the time a child begins to go to school, they are psychologically prepared. If done well through good parenting and discipline, this form of early parental involvement in a child’s education builds the necessary foundation for beginning school. There are two types of parental involvement in children’s education namely; school-based which entails parents’ direct participation in school activities and home-based which entails things parents and children can undertake at home. According to Sui-chu and Williams (1996s), home-based parental participation in a child’s education is divided into observation of children’s home activities home dialogues concerning school. On the other hand, he suggests two types of involvement in the school namely; proper and effective communication between parents and teachers and parental participation in school called for activities.

Another school parental involvement is visiting the school and having a talk with the teachers regarding the child. Through this, parents get information on the advancement of their child and can be able to give a helping hand when requested by the school. This also encourages a parent-teacher relationship and breaks communication barriers between both teacher and parent.(Desforges and Abouchaar 2003).

Other ways of parental participation in their children’s education are; provision of a conducive learning and growing environment at home, participation in making decisions in school and participation in school parents programs like meetings (Catsambis 1998, p.2)

Benefits of parental involvement towards academic achievement of children.

Parental involvement in their children’s education is a motivational factor to academic success. It boosts morale, proficiency and confidence in children and also makes them understand the importance of education (Smith 2002 to 2010). According to Epstein 1992, children get highly encouraged when their parents are involved in their academic activities both at home or in school. This has a positive impact on their performance in school. Catsambis’s (1998) studies show that when parents show high level of interest, their children get high scores in tests.

School achievement has in general been assessed by academic performance. In middle childhood learners are in the center of an episode of growth distinguished by differing desires for closeness, independence, cognitive confront and feelings of capability (Overstreet et al, 2005, Culp et al 2000 & Hill, 2001). School achievement has been established to envisage numerous positive results which include; higher education, better employment potential, lesser possibilities of upcoming joblessness, fewer adult psychopathology, and a more constructive self-actualization (Annunziata et al, 2006, Driessen et al, 2005 and Overstreet et al, 2005). Self-actualization is usually observed as the assessment that a person makes regarding themselves that communicates self-judgment of endorsement, condemnation, and personal appeal (Spera, 2006 & Hill, 2001). Self-actualization is in most cases regarded as a big factor in the forecasting of activities and conduct that a person will take on. Academic self-impression is optimistically influenced by parent participation which in return has a constructive impact on academic performance (Gonzalez-Pienda et al, 2002). A person has less likelihood of engaging in behaviors that are detrimental or destructive to his/her welfare if s/he has a positive outlook of self-esteem. In a similar way, study has established that school mal-performance is connected with risky actions and negative results for instance substance misuse, criminal behavior, emotional troubles, and premature sexual activities (Attaway and Bry, 2004, Bergsten, 1989 & Spera, 2006 ). A study by Seyfried and Chung (cited in Depleanty et al, 2007) on high school dropouts established that children whose parents are not participating in their schooling are at the threat of dropping out of school. In spite of the vast statistical information providing confirmation that parent participation is directly related to academic performance/success, there are still a number of parents who do not aggressively play part in their children’s education.

Obstacles of parent’s involvement in children education

There exist many reasons for parents’ lack of participation in their children’s education. According to Smith (2002), many families are now dependent on two salaries in order to afford basic needs and also some luxuries especially for families of a higher class. As a result, parents spend most of their time at work and leave very little or no time at all to attend to the educational needs of their children like attending meetings in school which in most cases happen during working hours.

Low level of parents’ education is a big challenge to many parents as they think they can’t assist their children. Some parents did not do so well in school so they can’t reckon with anything good in school. Such parents feel uneasy in a school environment and prefer not to participate in activities that involve going to their children’s school. Parents who have achieved high in education are more possibly to have similar targets of continuing education for their children which in most cases, is not the same for children of parents who did not achieve high in education. Scholars have recognized parent academic achievement as a predictor of their children’s academic performance (Constantino, 2007, Depleanty et al, 2007).

Parent academic achievement level has been optimistically correlated to parent participation in children schooling (Bergsten, 1989 & Depleanty et al, 2007). In particular, mother’s education level in contrast with father’s education level was established to be strongly linked to the extent of parental involvement in school activity, together with students’ hopes, inspiration, and accomplishment (Depleanty et al, 2007). Depleanty (2007) established that parents with a higher level of education were more probable to be aggressive in school activities, Parent Teacher Association meetings, and parent-teacher conferences. Parents who had a difficult time in school usually don’t get involved in their children’s education (Basic Skills Agency, 1995).

Parents whose social class is lower than their children’s teachers feel unwelcome in the school surrounding and it becomes difficult for them to initiate communication with teachers in order to get feedback on their children’s progress. Parental involvement is highly dependent on the class of the family with high levels of home discussions improving academic performance (Desforges 2003). Some parents lack means of transport to get to school since not all parents own a car and not all schools are situated within public transport routes. It therefore becomes very difficult for such parents to attend school activities. Most parents don’t know their role in their children’s academic performance. Studies show that teachers need to remind parents of their role in the education of their children. She suggested that in order for parents to attend school functions, they need to be scheduled for evenings when parents are out of work. Studies have also shown that teachers should make sure messages sent to parents are clear and understandable. This should also apply to how parents meetings and other functions are conducted.

Effect of lack of parental involvement in children’s academic performance

Studies show that parents who show high level of interest have children with high performance in school tests while those parents who give little or no attention at all perform poorly. After adolescence, children whose parents showed little interest in their studies when they were young, get very low grades and chances of improving are slim (Douglas 1964). Lack of interest by parents makes children think education is after all not important hence they never put any effort to succeed. In most cases children concentrate on computer games hence finish school with a lot of technical skills on how to use a computer but with zero basic knowledge on writing and reading and other basic knowledge needed in life (Smith 2002, p. 1).

Research Design and Methodology


This chapter discusses data collection procedures that will be used in the study. This includes the researcher design, data collection instruments, reliability and validity of research instruments and finally the data analysis method to be used.

Research design

This study adopts a survey research design that seeks to conduct a research study without manipulating the research variables. Since the researcher does not have any control over the effect of the independent variable (cost classification) on the dependent variable (management). Such issues are best investigated through survey design because it enables the researcher to collect data rapidly and understand population from a part of it. The survey research design generally entails investigating populations by selecting samples to quantitatively and numerically describe some part of the population. For the purposes of this study the survey research design will describe and explain data to be collected. The design however suffers from limited time.

Sample Size and Sampling Design/ Technique

Paton (2002) argues that the most important consideration in determining the sample size is the purpose for which the study is being undertaken. The sample will consist of a total of 200 correspondents. The study will adopt stratified and purposive sampling techniques. Purposive sampling technique involves the researcher deciding on whom to include in the sample. In this study, the technique will be useful in collecting focused information. It is preferred in this study because it selects typical and useful cases thus saving time and money. School departments will be grouped into strata’s after which the researcher will use purposive sampling from each department.

Data collection Instruments

The study will use the multi-method data collection (Creswell, J.W. 2003 p.62). This method combines both primary and secondary sources of data. The main primary research instruments used in this study will be questionnaires.

Development of Research Instruments

In developing the items in the questionnaire, the researcher will combine open and closed questions. This format will be used in all categories of the questionnaires. However, in the fixed choice item, it will involve “putting words” in the respondents’ mouth, especially when providing acceptable answers, there is temptation to avoid serious thinking on the part of the respondent. The respondent will end up choosing the easiest alternative and provide fewer opportunities for self-expression. It is because of these reasons that it will be necessary to combine this format of items with the open–ended response items. The open-ended format allows more spontaneity of response and provides opportunities for self-expression argues Patton (2002, p.39).


The researcher will use questionnaires as the main tool to collect data. The selection of this tool is guided by the type of data that is to be collected, the time that is available well as the study objectives. The overall aim of this study is to establish the extent to which parents’ involvement in Education affects children and their academic success. The researcher will mainly be interested in views, opinions, perceptions, feelings and attitudes of the respondents. Such information is best covered through the use of questionnaires.

Both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected from the respondents. The selection of participants will be done among a cross-section of teachers. Questionnaires will be the most preferred methodology to use among the teachers because it will be easy to reach a large number of them. The respondents will be from 10 public schools within the city. Questionnaires will be issued to the departmental heads who will then distribute them to class teachers. The filled questionnaires will be collected after one week.

Reliability of Research Instruments

Reliability refers to the degree to which a research instrument gives the same outcome after different trials and in this study; the researcher will use piloting method to determine the reliability of the researcher instruments. Questionnaires will be issued in one of the ten schools after which corrections will be made before proceeding to the rest of the schools.

Data analysis

Data collected will be processed, coded and analyzed to facilitate answering the research questions. The data will be analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Scientist (SPSS) computer package and MS excel to give descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies. Descriptive methods will be employed and data presented in the form of frequency distribution tables that will facilitate description and explanation of the study findings. SPSS will as well be used to generate frequency distribution tables for interpretation.

Research limitations

The decision to use schools from one zone in this study could limit the generalization of the findings to other schools but could be useful for illustrations and basis for more research. This is because the study will be carried out under constrain of time and therefore the data sample may not be distributed to many schools but will only be concentrated in ten schools that are close together. The time given for filling questionnaire forms may not be extended beyond one week and that may contribute to low response.

For future researchers on the same topic, it can be recommended that a wider sample of the respondent be considered and more time for follow-up be provided for the research.


From past research findings, it is evident that parents’ involvement in their children’s education is very vital for the children’s academic success. It is therefore true that lack of parental involvement would lead to poor performance of their children in school. The findings of this study are expected to examine how good performance of children in school depends to a large extent on parental involvement in children’s education. It is expected to suggest ways of enhancing parental participation in educating their kids. Therefore, given that data collection tool is a questionnaire to teachers, the research will seek data from the audience best placed to give the best feedback on children and what is required of their parents to improve academic performance. Suggestions likely to be collected from teachers are: calling for parents meetings in school more often, making parents aware that their children good performance depends on their involvement, encouraging parents to assist and supervise their kids when doing their homework as well as encouraging parents to have in place a good study, play and family time home program for their children when not in school.


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