Date of Award

Fall 12-18-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Sandra Cimbricz


Definitions of ‘parental involvement’ and ‘school achievement’ confusingly differ. While some researchers use specific terms and definitions, others use a broad and open analysis of the terms. Although research suggests that parental involvement (PI) significantly influences children’s school achievement, it is important to understand which aspects of PI prove most critical. Accordingly, in this meta- synthesis, I offer research conducted within the last five, an in depth and up-to-date understanding of how parents can be involved in their children’s education in ways that most favorably impact their children’s school achievement.

The following themes emerged from this synthesis: home-based involvement encompasses the most effective forms of parental involvement under the coded subcategory of “other” demonstrating that categorizing definitions of parental involvement does reveal trends in most effective forms. Grade level trends suggest elementary grades expect and need a higher level of parental involvement which may explain lower parental involvement effect sizes at that age. Lastly, homework supervision and parental attendance do not appear to be positively related to school achievement which suggest a paradox of parental involvement, because increased parent collaboration is applied when a child has difficulty in school, but when a child is achieving high academic success they may be able to complete homework independently causing a skew in the form of PI in the subcategory of home-based, directly relating to school.