Subsidized Housing and Low-Income Mother’s School-Based Parent Involvement: Findings from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study Wave Five

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Abstract

Background: School-based parent involvement is associated with child academic outcomes, positive behaviors, and social skills. Research on school-based parent involvement among low-income mothers is limited and even less understood for low-income mothers who receive financial housing assistance. Objective: This study examined the association between low-income mothers who receive housing assistance and school-based parent involvement when their child was 9-years-old. We investigated whether there is a difference in parent involvement for low-income mothers who receive a government housing subsidy (Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and those who reside in a public housing project. Potential barriers to parental involvement are discussed. Method: Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Wave 5 (N = 1351), the current study employed multivariate ordinal logistic regression analyses to examine the above associations. Results: Low-income mothers who receive an HCV are less likely to be involved in their child’s school-based activities than low-income mothers who live in a public housing project. Potential barriers to parental involvement include frequent housing moves and increased work hours. Conclusions: Findings suggest housing type has an important role in school-based parent involvement for low-income mothers. As housing policies move toward deconcentrating poverty by way of government housing subsidies, unintended consequences need to be considered. Considerations should include low-income mothers’ experience of frequent housing mobility and increased work hours as barriers to school-based parent involvement. Additional services and resources beyond financial housing assistance are essential to improve parent involvement among low-income mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Low-income mothers
  • School-based parent involvement
  • Subsidized housing and barriers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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