Parent Involvement in Early Intervention for Disadvantaged Children: Does it Matter?

Wendy T. Miedel and Arthur J. Reynolds


This study investigated the association between parent involvement in early intervention and children’s later school competence. Seven-hundred and four (N=704) parents of children participating in the Chicago Longitudinal Study were interviewed retrospectively about their involvement in preschool and kindergarten. Parents reported on the activities in which they participated and their frequency of program participation. Results indicated that even after controlling for family background, the number of activities in which parents participated in preschool and kindergarten was significantly associated with higher reading achievement, with lower rates of grade retention at age 14 (eighth grade), and with fewer years in special education placement. The frequency of parent involvement was only marginally associated with reading achievement but was associated with lower rates of grade retention. A confirmatory analysis indicated that teacher ratings of parent involvement were significantly associated with higher reading achievement in eighth grade, lower grade retention rates, and lower rates of special education placement through eighth grade. Findings support the benefits of parent involvement in early childhood programs.

Paper presented at Head Start’s Fourth Annual Research Conference, July 10, 1998.

Journal of School Psychology, 37(4), 379-402.