Parental Involvement and Academic Success of High School Students




Parental participation is one of the key factors regularly associated with a child’s increased educational performance. Even though this association is effectively established, few studies have successfully evaluated how family involvement is directly proportional to a child’s educational performance. The literature review fits into the topic of psychology, as it provides an evaluation of possible experiences of parental psychological control. It offers a comprehensive review of parental alignments of parenting in the entire life of a child (Shute et al., 2011). The strategy of the review is to acknowledge parental psychological control by experimentally associating it with parental behavioral control (involvement). It will also analyze what has been earlier researched and documented concerning parental involvement. The synthesis applies Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory. The literature review answers research questions concerning the role played by parental involvement in grade 8 students’ academic achievements, the effects of parental guidance, and whether or not there is a correlation between parental involvement and academic success.

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

The theory focuses on the association between human beings and their surroundings. There are many players in the learning and development of an individual. People are encircled by their families and influenced by their culture (Pathan, Memon, Memon, Khoso & Bux, 2018). The connection between children and their families is essential for their learning and growth since they are first taught by the immediate family members like the father, mother, and the community.

Parental Involvement

Many researchers acknowledge that the connection between parents and school is apparent but can also be forthright and backed by the school with guidelines meant to utilize parent-teacher communication. Nonetheless, this practice seems to be more complex. In most cases, parents require additional direction from the school to penetrate the unknown boundary of modern education. Liu, Sulaimani, and Henning (2020), as well as Wilder (2014), researched different capacities of involvement. The scholars demonstrate the variations in research evaluating parental involvement and its multiple definitions. For instance, Liu, Sulaimani, and Henning’s (2020) investigation revealed that when parents and teachers work closely together, they assist the student educationally and socially. Moreover, equitable access necessitates that teachers and parents should provide backup to each learner’s developmental requirements, strengths, welfare, and ambitions. Suitable support programs for learners are established to go past the educational field. Even though these are suitable ways for parents to participate, some studies are excessively broad in their definition, while others show a particular meaning of parental involvement. Though the definition is likely to vary across literature, family involvement positively affects children’s academic performance (Liu, Sulaimani & Henning, 2020); Wilder, 2014).

Most researchers use parenting and communication as tools to evaluate the level of parental involvement and its usefulness. Based on a recent study, increased family participation is substantially associated with increased educational success of a child (Li, Li & Yi, 2015). Wilder (2014) further assessed this association and established that when parents use good parenting styles, students improve their consciousness about how it is necessary to be successful, especially when they have caring parents. As established by Li, Li, and Yi (2015), parents who actively communicate with both teachers and their students are aggressively involved and gain more knowledge concerning the anticipations of their children and what they are doing to be successful in their studies. According to Fan and Chen (2001), parents who are in constant communication with teachers gain more understanding concerning their potential, check their children’s progress, and respond successfully to their necessities. Research conducted by Rafiq, Fatima, Sohail, Saleem, and Khan (2013) involved 150 learners in 9th grade. After data analysis, the authors established that parental involvement has a substantial impact on the improved educational performance of their children.

Parental Guidance

Teachers who concentrate on family guidance always observe substantial development in their classrooms. When families are highly engaged in their children’s learning, they improve their whole class’s enthusiasm, behavior, and grades (Fan & Chen, 2001; Boonk, Gijselaers, Ritzen & Brand-Gruwel, 2018). Therefore, supporting parental guidance is more than a collective courtesy. It is one of the most appropriate methods of building a positive and creative learning environment for all learners. It is necessary to acknowledge the importance of parental guidance and how to support it to establish a community constructed on family-teacher relations in schools. As supported by Wang and Sheikh‐Khalil (2014), parents have an important influence on student attainments from lower grades through high school. Determinations to improve children’s results become much more productive if they incorporate their families.

When schools involve parents and students, there are substantial effects. Research conducted by LaRocque, Kleiman, and Darling (2011) indicates that the most precise indicator of a student’s attainment in school is not dictated by the financial and social status of the parents. Still, the level at which parents can establish a suitable surrounding at home for studies demonstrate high prospects for their children’s accomplishment and future professional careers. It also implies that they are ready to contribute to their student’s learning at school and at home (Gonzalez-DeHass, Willems & Holbein, 2005; Wang & Sheikh‐Khalil, 2014; Wilder, 2014). The impact of parent participation on educational success has been acknowledged among scholars and legislators who have incorporated efforts meant to improve family participation into extensive academic policy programs. Therefore, children’s educational achievements have been moderately steady even after elementary school.

Challenges to Parental Involvement

Challenges to parental participation are the problems that stop the family from being active participants in their children’s academic progress both at home and in school. For instance, Jeynes (2007) described challenges to family participation in the confines of physical, cultural, and social problems. However, some of the challenges in this context include parents’ literacy levels, financial status, time, and level of communication (LaRocque, Kleiman & Darling, 2011). Rafiq et al. (2013) had a different result from their study completely, as they established that most of the challenges are likely to be associated with school-associated challenges like excessive homework, conferences, and volunteering prospects for parents or child-associated challenges like children having a negative view concerning the participation of family members. Jeynes (2005), as well as Pathan et al. (2018), acknowledged that communication is an important challenge to family participation. Literacy levels of parents are substantially linked with students’ educational attainment considering that parents who have attained higher learning levels are likely to get involved in their children’s learning by actively helping them while doing their homework.

Parents with low financial status cannot offer educational opportunities at home. This notion is supported by LaRocque, Kleiman, and Darling (2011), who demonstrated that parents’ low financial status, hectic timetable, and low learning level lead to reduced parental participation. Additionally, parents’ fixed schedules and life demands are other probable challenges that might hinder their level of involvement in school activities or in assisting children when it comes to doing their homework. According to Badrasawi, Yahefu, and Khalid (2019), parents showed that they could not actively participate in school activities since they were being carried out during inappropriate or busy times. Studies conducted by Badrasawi, Yahefu, and Khalid (2019) revealed that parents’ reduced ability level in speaking the Chinese language and the difficulty of the school subjects were one of the common challenges to family involvement.

Research Gap

These studies have focused on parental involvement without considering that variable family structure, especially single parenting is essential in establishing an individual’s academic performance. Most of the respondents are also from institutions of higher learning without considering students from secondary schools (Wang & Sheikh‐Khalil, 2014; Badrasawi, Yahefu, & Khalid, 2019). These students are the most vulnerable since they are still in their influential years. It implies that any kind of distraction is likely to have a lasting result on them, thereby creating a knowledge gap. Therefore, it is essential to perform additional research on the impact of single parenting on children’s educational success.

Contribution of Existing Research

To be involved in a student’s academic life is something many parents can do, irrespective of their socioeconomic status and condition. Parents should always be able to observe their children both at home and be helpful and intrusive concerning their schoolwork (LaRocque et al., 2011). The existing research proposes that it will be essential to do more than actively request parents to participate in their children’s education. Instead, secondary schools and the community need to be deliberate concerning parent involvement as an important part of their schools’ viewpoint and encourage parents who currently are not informed on how to get involved in understanding the necessary basics and participate. This approach is important to all parents, particularly those whose children are highly vulnerable to experiencing learning problems. Knowledge acquired and changes made to improve a program helpful to parents’ involvement can be fed back to scholars to increase program efficiency (Fan & Chen, 2001). Therefore, an all-inclusive and collective approach with parents, schools, and scholars working together is more likely to support the development of successful parental involvement programs than can be adopted effectively in real-world settings.


Overall, available literature describes the positive importance of family participation and children’s personality growth and education. The positive role of family participation in improving children’s educational attainment from early days of learning to high school level is also recognized. There should be an all-inclusive association between family, teachers, and the community to succeed in students’ academic studies. Jeynes (2005) acknowledged the importance of collaboration between family and schools to accomplish their joint objectives to ensure children’s attainment in education. However, some challenges limit family participation in students’ learning. These barriers are the problems that prevent families from being positively involved both at school and home. Nonetheless, it is evident from the various research that parents play a significant role in the academic success of high school students.


Badrasawi, K., Yahefu, H., & Khalid, M. (2019). Challenges to parental involvement in children’s education at a primary school: A Rasch analysis. IIUM Journal of Educational Studies, 7(1), 47-57.

Boonk, L., Gijselaers, H. J., Ritzen, H., & Brand-Gruwel, S. (2018). A review of the relationship between parental involvement indicators and academic achievement. Educational Research Review, 24, 10-30.

Fan, X., & Chen, M. (2001). Parental involvement and students’ academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational psychology review, 13(1), 1-22.

Gonzalez-DeHass, A. R., Willems, P. P., & Holbein, M. F. D. (2005). Examining the relationship between parental involvement and student motivation. Educational psychology review, 17(2), 99-123.

Jeynes, W. H. (2005). A meta-analysis of the relation of parental involvement to urban elementary school student academic achievement. Urban Education, 40(3), 237-269.

Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary school student academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Urban Education, 42(1), 82-110.

LaRocque, M., Kleiman, I., & Darling, S. M. (2011). Parental involvement: The missing link in school achievement. Preventing school failure, 55(3), 115-122.

Li, J., Li, Y., & Yin, T. (2015). Does Parental Involvement Contribute to Students’ Development? The Parent-Child Homework Experiment at a Shanghai Migrant School. International Journal about Parents in Education, 9(1).

Liu, Y., Sulaimani, M. F., & Henning, J. E. (2020). The significance of parental involvement in the development in infancy. Journal of Educational Research and Practice, 10(1), 11.

Pathan, H., Memon, R. A., Memon, S., Khoso, A. R., & Bux, I. (2018). A critical review of Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory in second language acquisition. International Journal of English Linguistics, 8(4), 232.

Rafiq, H. M. W., Fatima, T., Sohail, M. M., Saleem, M., & Khan, M. A. (2013). Parental involvement and academic achievement: A study on secondary school students of Lahore, Pakistan. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 3(8), 209-223.

Wang, M. T., & Sheikh‐Khalil, S. (2014). Does parental involvement matter for student achievement and mental health in high school?. Child Development, 85(2), 610-625.

Wilder, S. (2014). Effects of parental involvement on academic achievement: a meta-synthesis. Educational Review, 66(3), 377-397.