“Whatever I Can Imagine, We Did It”: Home-Based Parental Involvement Among Low-Income African-American Mothers With Preschoolers Enrolled in Head Start

Robin L. Jarrett, Sarai Coba-Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Researchers are increasingly focusing on the home-based parental involvement experiences of low-income, African American families with young children. These studies document the positive ways that parental involvement can promote the school readiness of preschoolers who are at risk of not being ready for kindergarten. In light of the paucity of research on this demographic group and developmental period, this study examines the parental involvement beliefs and practices of low-income, African American mothers with preschoolers transitioning to kindergarten. Specifically, we conducted qualitative interviews with 20 low-income, African American mothers of preschoolers enrolled in Head Start. This research was informed by the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (HD-S) model of parental involvement and resilience theory, which allowed us to explore mothers’ beliefs about who should be responsible for preschool children’s transition to kindergarten and how these beliefs were implemented in mothers’ home-based activities. Our findings are consistent with tenets of both the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler model and resilience theory. However, our findings expand these frameworks by detailing the unique experiences of low-income, African American mothers. The research findings offer recommendations for promoting parental involvement in early child care settings and the elementary schools into which children will be transitioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-557
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Research in Childhood Education
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

Keywords

  • African American
  • Head Start
  • parent involvement
  • parenting beliefs
  • parenting practices
  • qualitative research
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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