A key goal of much educational policy is to help parents become involved in children's academic lives. The focus of such efforts, as well as much of the extant research, has generally been on increasing the extent of parents' involvement. However, factors beyond the extent of parents' involvement may be of import. In this article, the case is made that consideration of the how, whom, and why of parents' involvement in children's academic lives is critical to maximizing its benefits. Evidence is reviewed indicating that how parents become involved determines in large part the success of their involvement. It is argued as well that parents' involvement may matter more for some children than for others. The issue of why parents should become involved is also considered. Implications for future research and interventions are discussed.
- Parent involvement
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