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Native and Immigrant Parents’ Involvement in School-Related Activities in France and Italy

TitleNative and Immigrant Parents’ Involvement in School-Related Activities in France and Italy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMantovani D, Gasperoni G
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published11/2018
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsFrance, immigrant parents, Italy, parental school involvement

Sociologists of education have devoted relatively little attention to examining whether, and to what extent, parents interact with schools and teachers, on what issues and whether such engagement varies according to parents’ native or immigrant status. Yet this topic deserves to be explored, since students’ academic success is closely associated with the degree of parental participation in school-related activities. Data drawn from the 2015 edition of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and more specifically from its parent questionnaire, show that immigrant-origin parents of 15-year-old students are more likely (with respect to native parents) to face a set of barriers to parental involvement with teachers and schools, in both France and Italy. Parental involvement in a set of school-related activities is explored via multivariate analyses in order to investigate the role of native/immigrant status, its interaction with parents’ socio-economic-cultural status, and the effects of a host of other variables relating to ascriptive characteristics, parent-child relationships, students school-based behaviour and parental perception of school contexts. Findings are heterogeneous in nature: they point to stronger parental involvement in Italy than in France and highlight the importance of teacher- versus parent-initiated activities, as well as the varying role of socio-economic-cultural status.