Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Duan Zhang, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Kathy Green

Third Advisor

Gloria Miller

Fourth Advisor

Thomas Obremski


Academic achievement, Classical test theory, Factor invariance, Item response theory, Latent growth modeling, Parent involvement


The critical role of parent involvement has been endorsed by educators and educational policy in the United States. However, various definitions and approaches to assess parent involvement have yielded inconsistent conclusions regarding the impact of parent involvement on child development and failed to provide foundations for practitioners. These contradictory findings, at least in part, reflected that parent involvement is a multidimensional construct which should be captured by many behaviors and activities as well as the limitations of using classical test theory to develop/identify items to assess parent involvement.

This study conducted both CTT and IRT to identify optimal items for assessing parent involvement from kindergarten through the fifth grade using the ECLS-K dataset. 25 items administrated across four data analysis waves were selected to examine the longitudinal factor structure of parent involvement in early childhood. EFA, CFA and multidimensional IRT have yielded the same results that a three-factor model, including school/home involvement, home educational investment, and family routines, fit the data best across time. Additionally, the result of factor invariance indicated that the three-factor model existed from kindergarten through the fifth grade. The results of a Rasch model analysis suggested revising and adding appropriate items for assessing home educational investment and family routines due to low reliability and poor item ordering.

The impact of parent involvement on academic achievement was examined at kindergarten, first, third, and fifth grade respectively, using multiple regression analyses. Also, this study examined the longitudinal influence of parent involvement using latent growth modeling. It was found that the predictive strengthen of domains of parent involvement varied at different time point as well as across four data analysis waves.

The present study provided empirical evidence using advanced statistical techniques to support a valid multi-faceted structure of the construct and its stability and impact on academic achievement during early childhood. It would deepen researchers and practitioners' knowledge of how to assess parent involvement from kindergarten through elementary school years using a multidimensional perspective, and how it is related to children's education.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Hui-Fang Chen


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

191 p.


Educational tests & measurements, Elementary education