Therapy in LA
Therapy in L.A.


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  psych bytes
December 1999
By Alan Solomon, Ph.D.

Parent Involvement Important in Student School Success

Recent evidence about student achievement in school shows that parental involvement is the single most powerful predictor of student success in school. It is more important than income or social status of the family. More specifically, student success is enhanced when the family:

a) Creates a home environment that encourages learning;
b) Expresses high (but not unrealistic) expectations for their children's achievement and future careers.
c) Becomes involved in their children's education at school and in the community.

With these conditions in place, children not only do better in school, but they also go farther in their educational endeavors, and the schools they go to become better. By working together to support learning, schools and parents help their children succeed throughout life. When schools support families to develop the above three conditions, children from low-income families and diverse cultural backgrounds approach the grades and test scores of middle-class children.

These findings were recently published by the Center for Law and Education in Washington, DC, based on a review of 66 studies in preschools, elementary, and secondary schools throughout the country. School programs included parents being engaged in school decision-making, as well as offering parenting classes on basic child rearing skills. Editors of the study were Ann T. Henderson and Nancy Berla.

Resources for Parents

A new website on children's mental health has been launched by New York University Child Study Center. The site is aimed at helping kids, their parents, educators, pediatricians, and mental health professionals better understand child mental health issues. It contains a comprehensive listing of childhood psychological issues, symptoms of more serious difficulties, and links to further investigate and address the problems. The site also posts current articles, follows research studies, answers commonly asked questions, and allows the user to browse through information. There is a bookstore with books selected by health professionals. Website address:

A nationwide campaign has been launched to help parents talk with their children about violence. TV and radio public service ads are part of this "Talking with Kids About Tough Issues" effort. For more information, contact:

Talking with Kids
1212 Broadway, Fifth floor
Oakland, CA 94612

In Southern California, the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC) is building on research about parental participation in student's school success to develop new programs with school districts to involve parents in the education of their children. CICC also offers parenting programs, workshops for instructors for parenting programs, publications at discounted prices, current news and research in the parenting field. Contact:

Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC)
11311 Ventrua Blvd., Suite 103
Studio City, CA 91604
800 325-2422

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