Parental engagement and investment refers to the range of parent and caregiver roles and activities for shaping and supporting young people’s learning. Although the particular forms of engagement and investment vary across development and contexts, parents and families play a key role in their children’s learning as it unfolds in school, at home, and in communities. However, the opportunities and expectations for parental roles differ significantly across socioeconomic, racial, and cultural contexts.

Three terms have come to represent different conceptions of how parents participate in their children’s learning: (1) parental involvement, (2) parental investment, and (3) parent/family engagement. Parental involvement is often associated with a normative set of parent activities that support school-based goals for student learning. Parental investment refers to the extent to which parents ...

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