American Sociological Association

Advantaged/Disadvantaged School Neighborhoods, Parental Networks, and Parental Involvement at Elementary School

This article examines the relationship between parental networks and parental school involvement during the elementary school years. Using a large, nationally representative data set of elementary school students—the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort—and contextual data from the 2000 U.S. Census, our multilevel analysis shows that higher levels of parental networks in first grade are associated with higher levels of parental school involvement in third grade after controlling for individual- and school-level characteristics. Parental networks are positively related to school involvement activities in formal organizations that consist of parents, teachers, and school staff, including participating in parent–teacher organizations and volunteering at school. Furthermore, the positive effects of parental networks on parental school involvement is stronger for families whose children attend schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This suggests that well-connected parental networks can serve as a buffer against school neighborhood disadvantages in encouraging parents to be actively involved in schools.

Download PDF


Angran Li and Mary J. Fischer





Starting Page


Ending Page