Angran LiFollow

Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Mary Fischer and Dr. Michael Wallace

Field of Study



Master of Arts

Open Access

Campus Access


A general consensus hold by scholars, parents, educators, and policy makers is that parental involvement benefits children’s academic growth and behavioral outcome. However, recent research on over-involved parenting challenges this mainstream view. In my thesis, I examine whether increased parental involvement leads to diminishing returns or negative effects on children’s outcomes through focusing on three important dimensions of parental involvement within a familial context: cultural cultivation, parental expectations, and parental communication. Using data from four waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class (ECLS-K), from 2000 to 2007, the quadratic model reveals significant curvilinear effects of parental involvement on children’s educational and behavioral outcomes and its variations across different dimensions of involvement and grade levels in early childhood. I argue that the effects of parental involvement, whether these effects are positive, negative, or insignificant, vary by different intensities of involvement. I find that both the short- and long-term curvilinear effects of parental involvement on educational outcomes become stronger as children approach to their early adolescence, but the effects of parental involvement on behavioral outcome diminish over time. These findings suggest the complex relationship between parental involvement and children’s educational and behavioral development and the need for reconsidering the role of parental involvement for improving children’s outcomes.

Major Advisor

Dr. Simon Cheng