Award Date

5-1-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Jeffrey Gelfer

Second Committee Member

Catherine Lyons

Third Committee Member

Michelle Tannock

Fourth Committee Member

Gregory Schraw

Number of Pages

228

Abstract

A parent is a child's first educator in communication, social/emotional skills, motor development, and academics. As the achievement expectations placed on schools increase and the schooling population continually diversifies, the need to increase the overall parental involvement in schools and their ability to assist with academics in the home becomes more significant to ensure academic success for all children. By acquiring the fundamental parenting knowledge and skills, despite the barriers and additional disadvantages, parents can overcome daily obstacles, reduce family stress, and support developing proficient children. By encouraging positive parenting skills, parents can increase their parenting self-efficacy.

The purpose of this study is to identify the best communication strategies with families to increase parenting effectiveness using interactive teaching sessions or bilingual handouts with equivalent information. Additionally, this study examines the outcome of a parenting program designed for diverse parents with children attending a Title 1 school. The group design included 71 parents with children enrolled in a Title1 half-day preschool program in a large urban school district in the Southwestern United States. Participants participated in either the Interactive Parenting Education Sessions (IPES), Informative Communication Newsletters (ICN), or the comparison group. IPES participants attended eight one-hour sessions dedicated to various positive parenting strategies, as developed by the researcher, for eight consecutive weeks. ICN participants received eight newsletters dedicated to the same various parenting strategies as the session participants. The IPES consisted of (a) a review of previously learned materials, (b) new information, (c) whole group learning opportunities to implement the new skills, and (d) open forum for participants to ask for additional assistance from the researcher and other group participants. Participants in the ICN group received the same information as the IPES group only in a written format. ICN Participants received their newsletters on the Thursday prior to the IPES session. The ICN's consisted of: (a) a review of previously learned materials, (b) new information, (c) guided learning opportunities to implement the new skills, and (d) contact information to reach the researcher should the reader have any questions.

The results revealed that the IPES group showed greater perceived self-efficacy than the ICN group and the comparison group. The results also revealed that the IPES group had greater session and overall program satisfaction in comparison to the ICN group.

Keywords

Barriers; Early childhood; Early childhood education – Parent participation; Parent education; Parenting – Study and teaching; Title 1

Disciplines

Adult and Continuing Education Administration | Education | Family, Life Course, and Society | Special Education and Teaching

Language

English