Social Change and Parents

As social change becomes more common in psychology, those who are in this field should keep up on the information that is important to continue social change. One research of social change is participatory research. This is when those who are looking into the issues are part of that community. With this research, most psychologists have a goal of solving the problems that they come across.

While looking into communities, there are several problems that could be found. No matter how “perfect” a community may seem, there will still be flaws. One issue that could be found is the issue of parenting. This can be seen by observing the different parent involvement in a community.

It is no secret that not all parents are involved in their children’s lives. Some parents simply do not have time because they are too involved in what they are doing and some may not have time because they are single parents that work several jobs to support their children. Either way, while observing some communities one would find parents that do not have much involvement in their children’s lives.

The National Center for Education Statistics reported 90% of elementary school parents attend general school meetings. ( Nokali, N., Bachman J. H., & Votruba-Drzal, E.) Examples of the meetings could be a board meetings or PTO meetings. With that being said, parent involvement is important for schools to be able to better the education of the children. When parents are giving opinions they are allowing the school to know what their children need. Although some parents may not always have the time, even attending a few meeting a month or a year could give their children a better learning environment.

In my opinion, I think that social change in school is necessary. Often, parents place blame on teachers and the school for not giving their children the education that they need. What they need to do is step back and look at what they could do to help the school better the child’s education. As a mother, I will attend meetings when my daughter becomes old enough to go to school. I want my daughter to have the best possible education that she can. If attending a meeting can allow my child a better education then it is not question to me if I should go or not. Parents are their children’s voice at times. If our child needs a better path, then we should stand up and let others know what could be done.


Nermeen E. El Nokali, Heather J. Bachman, and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal. Parent Involvement and Children’s Academic and Social Development in Elementary School. Retrieved from

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2005). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.


  1. Asher Rodriguez

    Research has shown that there is a positive correlation between parental involvement, academic achievement, and emotional intelligence. (Khajehpour, p. 1085, 2011) When parents are actively engaged in their children’s lives, by monitoring homework, encouraging extracurricular activities, and having an active association with teachers, students are more likely to succeed. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) This synergy can be beneficial to not just a student’s emotional well being, but also a parents. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) Researchers Henderson and Berla (1994) found that the most positive predictor of student achievement has little to do with a family’s SES, but more with the level of family involvement. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011)

    Although studies have shown that parental involvement is essential in the academic success of a student, some parents struggle with how to effectively get involved. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) There are various programs that have been established to encourage better parenting. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) One such program involves the school assisting families by offering child-rearing classes. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) Another program encourages parents to get involved in learning activities in and out of school. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) A third program has the school partnering with local businesses to offer resources and services to parents and students in need. (Khajehpour, p. 1083, 2011) With the establishment of these programs more parents will be able to establish a rapport with not only the school, but foster a healthier, more effective parent-child interpersonal relationship.

    Khajehpour, M. (2011). Relationship between emotional intelligence, parental involvement and academic performance of high school students. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 15, 1081-1086.

  2. Sadaka Maisah Archie

    Although I am not a parent, I completely agree on views of parents and involvement in their child’s education. Considering I am a Sunday school volunteer teacher, I have seen first-hand how parents are so detached in their child’s education. I have been volunteering for a few years and I must say the enthusiasm of parental involvement and commitment seems to be at an all-time low. Every year, we have a large open-house to give parents the opportunity to come, see the school, meet the principal and teachers, and know the curriculum that will be taught. Over the years, we’ll be lucky if we have 10 parents attend out of 100 students that are enrolled. I have yet to be able to fathom why parents do not get involved in the child’s education. There was an incident of a student being reprimanded for not doing their homework. The parent was questioning her child why she did not complete her homework. It’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure, sit down and do homework with their child. When I was in school, my parents were very much involved. They attended every parent-teacher conference, from kindergarten to high school, and at times, my parents had three children going to one school; they went to each teacher. My parents never missed an orchestral concert I participated in, and till this day, my parents continue to make sure I’m doing homework and studying for my classes.

    Parental involvement is extremely crucial, especially when the child is young and enters the adolescent stage and seeing how unenthusiastic parents are with their children. In society today, parents should be more involved than ever before. Children can easily become influenced and get involved in risky behavior(s). When I was young, teen pregnancy, “experimenting” with drugs, and drinking alcohol were not social issues. Issues I was faced with were what summer activities I wanted to participate in. It’s frightening to know how times have changed in the past 10 years and how much they are going to continue to change. Therefore, overall parental involvement can contribute greatly to social change and provide a positive future for child and youth.

  3. I agree with your opinions on parents. Although I am not a parent, I do plan on having children. I feel that it is extremely important to be a part of your children’s life. This is not only needed in their social life but also in their school life. As a parent, people need to become their children’s voice at times. (like you have stated) I know that many students have trouble in class but they are afraid to speak up and tell their teacher what they need. This is where parents need to step in and speak out. If our children do not get the education that they need then attending a PTO meeting or a board meeting may be the best way to show support for your children.
    For example, in my one psychology class we are talking about ADD/ADHD. In my opinion, these are being seen more often by children in school. As a parent of a child with ADD or ADHD, attending a board meeting could allow that parent to bring awareness to what can be done to allow these children to get the education that they need.

  4. Rebekah Christina Smith

    I think this is a very important topic. I remember growing up with my mom being fully involved in my school and sports activities. She did become less involved as time went on. For example, we moved after my freshman year of high school so the remainder of my high school time she was uninvolved. It was very difficult for my dad to be as involved because he went out on frequent deployments.
    It was very beneficial for my mom to be involved because she helped out with fundraisers and knew about everything going on. Since she was very involved it kept my brothers and I very involved. I think it led to us doing well in school and being good athletes in the school sports that we played.
    I have seen my friends parents that weren’t involved and the only thing they knew about what was going on was the flyer my friends brought home. I know it devastated them and led them to not feel connected to their parents. Those friends ended up getting into devious activities and as a result no longer were my friends. For child development, I think it is very important for parents to be involved and be aware of the schools activities.

  5. Jamie Lynne Wilson

    I think your topic is an important one and is one that I would like to find a solution to as well. Most parents wish they could take a more active role in their children’s lives while some parents feel participating in their child’s education isn’t necessary and is the responsibility of teachers. The issue of having enough time is ever present in any conversation regarding participating in a child’s education. While it is impossible to add more time to our days, it may be possible to rearrange some of our responsibilities to make time to participate in our children’s lives.
    One solution may be to move some of the school’s meetings to an online environment. While I am sympathetic to the parents that work full time and have difficulty finding the time to participate as well as the single parent that must work to single handedly put food on the table, I believe that most parents have access to the internet. If schools made PTO meetings possible to attend online through a sort of webinar environment, it is possible that the percentage of parents who are able to attend would rise dramatically. Another partial solution may be to enable parents to view the issues that are discussed at PTO and other board meetings online and then respond via e-mail or other electronic medium to make their own views known. For some parents, simply feeling that they have a voice may empower them to take a more active role in their children’s lives and educational environment.
    Your concluding point that parents are their children’s voice is a very important one. As parents, it is of paramount importance that we first take note of the enormous impact our actions or lack thereof have on the lives of our children and follow up this realization with actions that may improve the lives and education of our nation’s youth. Children are our nation’s future, after all, and I struggle to think of an issue more deserving of our time and effort than that of our children and the potential impact we may have on improving our world through bettering their education and consequently, their lives.

  6. The topic of parental involvement, especially within their child’s school system can be a subjective subject and can offend certain people when one person’s viewpoints are expressed. A parent’s demographics, work schedule, and personal upbringing can each effect the level of involvement the parent has at their child’s school. Whatever the situation, parental involvement has obvious benefits to a child performance in and out of school.

    There is plenty of research on the benefits of parental involvement in their child’s schooling. One such report by Nancy E. Hill and Lorraine C. Taylor state that parental involvement increases both the parents’ information as well as their skills; a term that they refer to as social capital. This parental improvement in information and skill set allows parents to be better qualified to assist their children with their school related assignments, activities, and expectations (Hill & Taylor, 2004). Parental involvement also allows parents to become better acquainted with school staff members. These relationships with parents and school personnel helps to inform parents of what the school’s expectations are for homework completion and rules of conduct. By increasing a parents skills, they then become better equipped to help their child with homework and facilitate learning opportunities while the child is at home. Being involved in their child’s school life also allows parents to become acquainted with other parents who are also involved. Parents can often learn from one another and gain valuable insight as to how school policies are implemented and practiced, personal views on particular teachers, information regarding extracurricular activities, and personal experiences on how to deal with difficult situations successfully as they arise (Hill & Taylor, 2004). Parental involvement also encompasses direct contact with the child’s teachers. Being actively and consistently involved in a child’s schooling informs the parent to what the teacher expects from the student, and also allows the teacher to learn what expectations are set by the parent. This two-way street between parents and teachers develops more complex strategies that promote student achievement, compared to parents who are uninvolved.

    Parental involvement also promotes achievement through a mechanism that Hill and Taylor refer to as social control. Social control occurs when parents and teachers work together to form a consensus as to what is expected academically and behaviorally, at both home and school (Hill & Taylor, 2004). By agreeing on academic and behavior standards, children learn what is expected, and by providing consistency both at home and at school, problem behaviors are likely to reduce. When parents communicate with each other, this salience then becomes more widespread amongst different sources that reach behind the classroom or the home which greatly reduces the child’s confusion about expectations. The opposite also become true; when parents do not agree with each other on expectation level, or when parents and schools do not set the same expectations, then each adult is likely to have their authority undermined by the child/student (Hill & Taylor, 2004). If adults would combine social capital and social control, then children would receive a consistent set of expectations to follow where ever they are, and this consistency will increase their confidence, level of competence, motivation to learn and even excel, and also their desire to engage in school.

    As I previously stated, parental involvement differs depending on whom you talk to. For some parents, it is a must, while other parents feel that it is unimportant for them to be involved in their child’s school. I feel as though the latter perspective is the most influential reason as to why we have seen such an increase in bullying behavior amongst adolescents. Here in our individualistic culture that sets high merit on success and material goods, many parents have succumbed to the rat race of attaining everything their hearts desire, in the meantime leaving their children to fend for themselves in the realm of academia. Whether parents have a self-described valid reason for their involvement, or lack thereof, parental involvement needs to become a priority and striven towards at all costs.

    Hill, N. E., & Taylor, L. C. (2004). Parental School Involvement and Children’s Academic Achievement: Pragmatics and Issues. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13, 161-164.

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