Date of Award

8-1-2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Smith, Lynn

Second Advisor

Bu, Lingguo

Abstract

There is a growing interest in studying the influence of parental involvement on student achievement, as well as factors that influence parents' choices in being involved in their children's education. This study examined the relationships among socioeconomic status, parental involvement, and students' mathematics achievement in Jordan and the United States. It also investigated the reasons that motivate parental involvement in both Jordan and the United States. For data collection, a four-section instrument was distributed to parents/guardians of students in grades four, five, and six from Jordan and the United States in order to collect demographic information, socioeconomic status, parental involvement levels, mathematics achievement, and qualitative data about the nature of parental involvement and parents' reasons for being involved in their children's mathematical education. The study revealed no relationship between socioeconomic status and parental involvement in Jordan. In the United States, however, the study revealed a positive relationship between socio-economic status and parental involvement at home; only parents' education level had a statistically significant relationship with parental involvement at school. The study further revealed a positive relationship between parental involvement at home (PIH) and students' mathematics achievement (SMA) in both Jordan and the United States. Also, a positive relationship between parental involvement at school (PISC) and students' mathematics achievement (SMA) was observed in the Jordan sample. However, no relationship between PISC and SMA was found in the United States sample. Also, the findings revealed a positive correlation between SES and SMA for the United States sample. However, in the Jordan sample, a positive relationship existed between family income and SMA, and parents' education level and SMA, while no relationship was found between parents' employment status and SMA. Furthermore, the findings revealed a significant difference only between the correlation coefficients of PIH and SMA between Jordan and the United States. The findings of the qualitative data analysis did not particularly support the quantitative findings, but they did provide a clear understanding of parents' diverse reasons for why they chose to be involved in their children's education, such as social and economic gains for their children. It also showed what parents believed affected or influenced their ability or choices with regard to being involved in their children's education. In light of the findings, a number of recommendations were given for further research and practice, specifically with regard to curriculum development and the design of parent-school communication programs.

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