Dropping Out of Advanced Mathematics: The Effects of Parental Involvement
by Xin Ma — 1999
Based on a national sample from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY), this study examined the effects of individual characteristics and different types of parental involvement on participation in advanced mathematics from grade 8 to 12. Results of hierarchial survival analysis show that an average student is most likely to drop out in grade 12, where there is also a large gender gap in participation in favor of males. Prior achievement is most influential in the early grades of high school, whereas prior attitude is most influential in the later grades. Schools vary significantly in participation rates at each grade level, but the variation is relatively small at both the beginning and the end of high school. There is a positive contextual effect associated with school mean socioeconomic status which is substantial in grade 9, smaller in grades 10 and 11, and negligible in grade 12. As to parental involvement, volunteer work for school is the most important school-level variable in the early grades (8 to 10). The effect is strong in each grade, and remains similar in magnitude across grades. Home discussion is critical in the middle grades (10 and 11). The effect is strong, and remains almost constant in the two grades. Home-school communication has a temporary, though strong, effect in grade 9. The effect of home expectation is nonsignificant across all grades.
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