Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Educational Policy Studies and Eval

First Advisor

Dr. Kelly D. Bradley


Transitioning from elementary school to middle school can be a difficult time for many adolescents. It is a period often correlated with a decline in students’ academic achievement, perceptions of performance, potential, and value in schooling. Research has shown evidence that parents’ involvement in their children’s education significantly influences children’s academic achievement. However, there are many conflicting findings regarding this relationship.

The primary purpose of this study is to extend existing research on academic achievement by examining the causal relationship between parent involvement and science achievement during the transition years, using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K). The results not only reaffirms that parent involvement and students’ academic achievement are reciprocally correlated but also implies that parent involvement is a multidimensional construct, and has a domain-specific effect. The findings have important implications for parents on how to provide effective support for their children in science learning, especially during the transition years. Results from the analyses reveal that parents get involved in students’ education differently by their race/ethnicity groups. Findings imply that schools should consider moving beyond the traditional methods to get parents involved.