Parent Involvement in Homework: A Research Synthesis

Dec. 22, 2008

Source: Review of Educational Research. Vol. 78, Iss. 4; pg. 1039-1101. Dec 2008.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

New emphasis is being placed on the importance of parent involvement in children's education. In this article, the authors synthesize research on parent involvement in homework conducted since 1987 to address the following questions: (a) What is the overall effect of interventions designed to improve the frequency and quality of such parent involvement, (b) what is the overall relationship between achievement and parent involvement in homework found in studies that did not manipulate involvement, and (c) what moderators might explain variation in study findings.

In a synthesis of research on the effects of parent involvement in homework, a meta-analysis of 14 studies that manipulated parent training for homework involvement reveals that training parents to be involved in their child's homework results in (a) higher rates of homework completion, (b) fewer homework problems, and (c) possibly, improved academic performance among elementary school children.

A meta-analysis of 22 samples from 20 studies correlating parent involvement and achievement-related outcomes reveals (a) positive associations for elementary school and high school students but a negative association for middle school students, (b) a stronger association for parent rule-setting compared with other involvement strategies, and (c) a negative association for mathematics achievement but a positive association for verbal achievement outcomes.

The results suggest that parent involvement in homework could affect student success by having a positive impact on homework completion and by reducing student problems with homework. Yet the effect of parent involvement on achievement was negligible to nonexistent, except among the youngest students. Further, different types of parent involvement in homework have different relationships to achievement and that the type of parent involvement changes as children move through the school grades.

Updated: Mar. 05, 2009