Access and barriers to parental involvement: Latino and Caucasian parent perceptions
Research has established that parent involvement is related to positive outcomes for children in many developmental domains including student academic achievement as well as social and emotional development. Despite these benefits, levels of Latino parent involvement reported in the literature are low; therefore, research examining the factors that affect parent involvement is of great importance. There is a limited amount of research focused on gaining an understanding of parent involvement from the parent perspective; most parents have not had a direct voice in the research regarding their involvement in their children's education. The current study examined Latino and Caucasian parent perceptions regarding parental involvement and the factors that facilitate and hinder parental involvement in their children's schooling. Eighty-six caregivers participated by completing a survey which examined parent attitudes, perceptions and parent involvement practices. Overall findings support that parent involvement is of great concern and interest to both parent groups. Data analyses revealed that income and education are key sociodemographic factors which influenced parent ratings. Results also indicated that while Latino parents reported more positive attitudes, Caucasian parents reported more overall parent involvement, particularly in school based activities. Open-ended data suggested that Latino parent involvement tended to be more home-based rather than school-based; this data also revealed several logistical and structural barriers faced by parents regarding their involvement, despite their desire to be involved. Factors that facilitated parent involvement, including family-centered approaches, were also uncovered. Clinical implications and limitations of the current study and directions for future research are discussed.
0737: Hispanic Americans