Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis




College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Jean Ann Linney


Parent involvement has been understood to elicit positive outcomes for school-age children, especially minority children and children from low socioeconomic families. Understanding the process by which parents engage in their child’s education may provide school staff with tools to develop interventions to increase parent involvement.

This investigation replicates a study that tested an ecological model of parent involvement in two Head Start programs (Waanders, 2002). Participants in the current study were 213 parents and/or caregivers of children who attended three Head Start programs in South Carolina. Two of the programs were located in a medium-sized city, while the third was located in a small-sized town.

The ecological model described in this paper encompasses multiple dimensions of parent involvement: school-based parent involvement, home involvement in schooling, home-school conferencing, and teacher perception of parent connectedness. Waanders’ analyses supported the validity of the multidimensional and ecological approach to parent involvement. Findings from the current study supported and expanded upon Waanders’ results using a larger sample and including a rural Head Start center.


© 2015, Rebecca C. Horwitz