Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Leadership and Policy Studies


Educational Leadership

Committee Chair

Larry McNeal

Committee Member

Beverly Cross

Committee Member

E. Renee Sanders-Lawson

Committee Member

Linda Wesson


The purpose of this qualitative case study was to gain a better understanding of what parental involvement means to parents and what influences them to become involved in a school. Joyce Epstein's Six Types of Parent Involvement Typology provided a guiding framework to assess terms and categories commonly used in parent involvement research. This study was guided by two research questions: What does parental involvement mean to parents? What influences parents to engage in parent involvement? The researcher conducted interviews, focus groups, and took field notes as primary sources of data to answer the two reserach questions.The researcher interviewed six parents that were both male and female parents of students in grades 6-8 who attended either East Hickory Heights Middle School or Rockhill Middle School. Rockhill Middle School made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and East Hickory Heights Middle School did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2008-2009 school year.The two selected middleschools were located in the Riverwood Schools District. Findings from this study indicated that to increase parent involvement in middle schools, school districts and school administrators should involve parents in the decision-making process and develop collaborative practices that will allow parents and schools to communicate and collaborate more effectively together. Additionally, school districts and school administrators should revisit parent involvement programs and activities that were implemented at the elementary school level to increase parent involvement at the middle school level. Research-based parent involvement strategies will allow the Riverwood Schools District to increase parent involvement and participation in any of the six parent involvement strategies suggested by Epstein. Additionally, implementation of research-based parent involvement practices can potentially increase academic success for students at the middle school level.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.