The Effect of Parental Factors on Student Achievement

Research shows that parents have a great influence on their children's success and well-being at school. The Michigan Department of Education states that parental involvement in children's education can be advantageous for students in many ways, such as boosting their achievement in school, showing fewer behavioral problems and having higher self-esteem 23. The Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, MD., states that students from lower-income parents can suffer academically.

Parental Expectations

According to research conducted by the Harvard Family Research Project, the level of expectations that parents have regarding their teen's abilities has an effect on high school and college achievement 1. If parents have high expectations and encourage their children to work hard, then students perform better in school. The Michigan Department of Education claims that children will do well in school if parents set high, achievable expectations and if they also tell friends and other family members about their children's success 23.

School Interest

The level to which parents are involved in the school can make a difference to academic success. If parents come to school regularly and attend school meetings, then the student feels that school and family life are closely connected, according to the Michigan Department of Education. The San Diego County Office of Education claims that parents of student dropouts usually don't attend school meetings, help with homework or go to school social events, such as sports events.


The way that parents supervise or don't supervise how their children spend time out of school is linked to academic achievement. According to the website, students will have greater academic success if parents take time to encourage reading, supervise homework, and monitor the amount of TV their children watch 3. The American Academy of Pediatrics also suggests that if parents regularly read at home, their children will notice this and will also take an interest in books and reading which will help them achieve academic success in school 4.


A report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, ''Learning to Read: Early Warning 5! Why Reading By the End of Third Grade Matters,'' claims that parent's poverty is closely connected to students academic success at school, and that many children from low-income homes do not read or commit to summer learning in the same way middle class children do 5. The report states that 83 percent of 4th grade children from low-income households can not read at a "proficient" level and that many continue to be poor readers in high school. The Casey Foundation claims that many children from low-income families do not have access to higher quality kindergartens found in middle-class neighborhoods, and are therefore not as prepared for school as children from better-off families.