Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2006


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Derek Whordley

Committee Member

Cleveland Steward

Committee Member

Joseph Kush

Committee Member

V. Robert Agostino


parent involvement, parent workshops, poverty in schools, self-efficacy, socio-economic status


Parental involvement in a student's life has been a topic that has inspired much research in the past and continues to be a major research focus in the field of both psychology and education. Many studies exist confirming the lack of parental involvement of low socio-economic persons due to their low self-efficacy as it relates to their ability to help their children with schoolwork. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of parent workshops (Parents Feeling Capable) specifically designed to enhance the self-efficacy of parents of preadolescent children identified as being of low socio-economic status. To perform the study, two groups were formed. One group of 33 parents identified as low socio-economic was solicited to participate in the Parents Feeling Capable Workshops. The second group of parents of similar socio-economic status was identified as a control group. Pre- and post-surveys were administered to both groups using the survey instrumentation designed and proven accurate through a four-year study at Vanderbilt University. A t test showed a significant increase in all areas studied: self-efficacy related to helping with schoolwork, parental perception of knowledge and skill acquirement, and students' perceptions of parental use of instruction. No significance was noted for the control group, eliminating the possibility that another intervention may have occurred contributing to the significant gain made by the study group. This study concluded that designing parent-training workshops that combine both theoretical and practical research resulted in increasing parental self-efficacy as it related to parents helping their children with schoolwork. The implications of this study are vast. The duplication of the Parents Feeling Capable Workshops would allow school districts receiving Title I resources to comply with the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Law (NCLB, 2002) by providing parents of students in economically disadvantaged schools with opportunities to learn new skills and techniques to increase their capacity in working with their child at home on schoolwork. Participating parents report a considerable change in their confidence level when working with their children, a willingness to get involved in other parent workshops, and a desire to continue to help their children and get more involved in the school.