Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

M. Alayne Sullivan

Committee Members

Rod K. Goodyear

Judy D. White


education, social sciences, African American parental engagment, African-American, engagement, Hispanic parental engagement, Latino, Latino parental engagement, parent engagement, parent involvement


African American Studies | Educational Leadership | Educational Sociology


This mixed methods study examined the extent to which there were differences between African-American and Latino parents' outlooks toward dimensions affecting engagement in their children's education. Information was gathered using a broad-based survey and focus group interviews. Using a 5-point Likert-type scale, parents were asked to respond to an online survey asking their level of agreement on seven dimensions of parental engagement: parenting, communicating, volunteering, learning at home, decision making, collaborating with community, and positive experiences with schools. Sixty parents responded to the survey and three African-American and three Latino parents participated in the focus group interviews.

Quantitative data analysis revealed that overall there were statistically significant differences between African-American and Latino parents' survey responses on dimensions affecting engagement; moreover, Latino parents had a higher level of agreement on all seven dimensions. Evidence from the focus-group interviews also indicated that there were differences between African-American and Latino parents' outlooks toward parental engagement dimensions. African-American parents reported more engagement in their children's education out-of-school; dimensions such as parenting, learning at home, and communicating; while Latino parents reported more engagement in both in-school and out-of-school dimensions. The differences between African-American and Latino parents' participation in school may be attributed to the fact that state of California mandates the establishment of advisory committees for English Learners. It would be reasonable to conclude that because schools have a greater responsibility to engage Latino parents and consistently encourage them to attend monthly advisory committees, this may account for Latino parents' higher level of engagement on the seven dimensions of parental engagement.


ISBN: 9781124804613