The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction: M.S.


Teacher Development


School of Education

First Advisor

Hsueh-I Lo

Second Advisor

Ramon Serrano

Third Advisor

Sue Haller

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Research Question

The purpose of this study was to understand the correlation between types of parental involvement and student attitude/self-efficacy/achievement in math. The research question is: What types of relationships exist between parental involvement styles and math achievement in secondary students?

Focus of the Paper

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between types of parental involvement and attitudes toward math, self-efficacy in math, and math achievement. I have researched articles using the EBSCO resource offered to me as a St. Cloud State University student. In my search for articles, I used the following descriptors: “secondary education,” “parental involvement,” and “math achievement.” When choosing resources, I selected articles with findings related to my research question as applied to a similar group of secondary students. There were limitations to each study that were important to note because not every study I found directly related to my topic.


The significance of this study is to find ways to improve student achievement in math. My goal is to give parents some insight into what type of involvement could help their child understand math better. When there are correlations in research that exist, they should be analyzed so that positive changes can be made. When students are confident in their math abilities resulting in higher achievement, they will have more opportunities for jobs that can make a positive impact on society.

Research has shown that students who receive and perceive greater social support from teachers, parents, and friends for math and science have better attitudes and self-efficacy toward math (Rice, Barth, Guadagno, Smith, & McCallum, 2013). In Slovenia, students’ self-efficacy in math was a positive predictor of math achievement (Levpušcek, Zupancic, & Socun, 2013). So, if there is a relationship between parental involvement and student attitudes and self-efficacy in math, as well as a relationship between student attitudes and self-efficacy in math and math achievement in students, then logically, there could be a correlation between parental involvement and math achievement in students. Interestingly, there is more research that supports the fact that parental involvement has significant effects on student performance in math during elementary years. However, research on students during the secondary years is mixed.

These mixed conclusions could be because parental involvement is difficult to categorize. McNeal (2014) stated that the “lack of clarity on which elements of parent involvement affect which outcomes, is especially troublesome for policy-makers and educational practitioners." Parental involvement can have many different aspects; I will be focusing on parent-student involvement and parent-school involvement. I hypothesize that parent-student involvement will have more of an impact on math achievement than parent-school involvement. I think this is true because when there is parent-school contact, there is already a learning issue happening which requires a game of catch-up. It is much more difficult to play this catch-up game in math than in other subjects because the topics are sequential. Depending on when the parent-school contact is instigated, it will be more difficult to learn the concepts out of order. Also, many students have negative associations with math, and feel that they are already so far behind that there is no point in even trying to catch up because they probably will not succeed.



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