Families & the Community What the Research Says

Early-Year Parent Involvement Pays Off in Middle School

By Sarah D. Sparks — September 03, 2019 1 min read

Middle school students whose parents get involved early in the school year have fewer academic and behavioral problems later on, finds a new study in the journal School Psychology.

University of Missouri researchers surveyed 200 teachers and nearly 3,200 elementary and middle school students on parent involvement. They found that parent involvement declines as students move from elementary to middle school grades. However, highly involved parents at the start of the year had students who, by the end of the year, had better social skills, stronger focus on tasks, and fewer emotional or behavioral problems in class. That was true not just for elementary students, but middle schoolers as well.

“Keeping in contact with multiple teachers can be more challenging for parents with children in middle school, but ... parents and teachers should continue to make an effort to connect,” said Keith Herman, a co-author and education professor.

A version of this article appeared in the September 04, 2019 edition of Education Week as Early-Year Parent Involvement Pays Off in Middle School

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