AN INVESTIGATION OF TURKISH PARENTS’ BELIEFS AND PERCEPTIONS FOR INVOLVEMENT IN THEIR YOUNG CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

Open Access
Author:
Tekin, Ali Kemal
Graduate Program:
Curriculum and Instruction
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
September 18, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Thomas Daniel Yawkey, Committee Chair
  • Daniel Dean Hade, Committee Member
  • Hoi Kin Suen, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • beliefs and perceptions
  • parent involvement
  • young children
  • Turkish
  • early childhood
  • child development
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to discover Turkish parents’ beliefs and perceptions about their involvement in young children’s education. Specifically, this study sought to assess Turkish parents’: (1) motivational beliefs, including their role activity and self-efficacy beliefs about involvement, (2) perceptions of invitations, including general school and teacher-specific, to be involved, and (3) perceptions of life context variables, including personal knowledge and skills and personal time and energy for involvement activities. This study also explored the impact of demographic characteristics on the psychological factors of parent involvement. The demographic variables in this study included parents’ age and gender, parents’ income and education levels, parents’ marital and employment status, and number of children. The investigator used quantitative research techniques to address the topic. Participants were 374 Turkish parents who had young children. Parents’ beliefs and perceptions about their involvement were measured by using the adapted Turkish version of the related Level 1 scales from the Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler parent involvement model. The researcher ensured the validity and reliability of the measures prior to their use in the main study. The related scales used as the first instrument in this study were based on parents’ self-report, and included: (1) Parental Role Activity Beliefs for Involvement in Children’s Education, (2) Parental Self-Efficacy Beliefs for Helping the Child Succeed in School, (3) Parental Perceptions of General Invitations for Involvement from the School, (4) Parental Perceptions of Specific Invitations for Involvement from the Child’s Teacher, (5) Parental Perceptions of Personal Knowledge and Skills for Involvement Activities, and (6) Parental Perceptions of Personal Time and Energy for Involvement Activities. A total of 44 items were included in this instrument. Moreover, a demographic survey that contained seven questions about participants’ age and gender, marital and employment status, education and income levels, and number of children, was developed and used as the second instrument in this study. The investigator used both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to analyze the data. The results of descriptive statistics suggested that Turkish parents as a group tend to have positive beliefs and perceptions about their involvement in their young children’s education. Multiple linear regression analysis (MLRA) was also deployed to understand the relationship between these beliefs and perceptions and demographic characteristics. The results revealed that parents’ monthly family income is the strongest predictor of their beliefs and perceptions about their involvement in their young children’s education. Parents with higher incomes tend to have more positive beliefs and perceptions about involvement than the lower-income parents. It was also found that parents’ educational backgrounds influence their self-efficacy beliefs about helping their children succeed in school. Parents with higher education levels are more likely to have stronger self-efficacy beliefs than the parents with lower educational backgrounds. Several recommendations were made based on the results. The researcher suggested several directions for further research. Implications were also described for policy and practice.