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Parental Involvement Fosters Stronger Social Skills Among Elementary Students

By carolyncastiglia |

No matter what you think about being forced to volunteer at your child’s elementary school, a new study published in the May/June issue of Child Development shows there’s good reason to do it.  Students whose parents frequently visit their school cooperate more and have better self-control in class.  ”In addition, children were less likely to be either depressed or anxious,” according to Business Week/Health Day News.

The study followed more than 1,300 children from 10 U.S. cities from birth to fifth grade, and although problem behaviors were shown to be curbed due to parent involvement, student academic performance was not noted to have improved.  But get ready for forced volunteerism, anyway, because according to the article’s abstract, “Implications for policy and practice are discussed.”

It makes sense that children with parents who frequently visit the classroom behave better, not just because that child feels reassured by the presence of a parent, but because it becomes clear that the parent(s) and teacher have a relationship, and that the adults at home and at school have the same expectations of good behavior.  Unfortunately, forced volunteerism is not practical for many parents who cannot leave their jobs, and so parent-teacher conferences were invented to bridge that gap.  While I do think it’s difficult to expect one or two adults to police 25 children all day, I don’t think daily parental involvement should be expected, either.  How much time do you spend at your child’s school?  Are there parents at your child’s elementary, pre-school or daycare that are overly involved?  What about parental involvement that makes their kids clingy or other parents look bad for not being around as much?


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About carolyncastiglia



Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Parental Involvement Fosters Stronger Social Skills Among Elementary Students

  1. jenny tries too hard says:

    Uh…wouldn’t it make sense that the parents with the best social skills are the ones that feel confident enough to come forward and visit or volunteer? And that these socially-adept parents would’ve passed the good social skills, through example and inherited personality traits, on to their kids?

  2. carolyncastiglia says:

    Unfortunately I haven’t read the actual study, so I don’t know whether or not reserachers attribute the positive results to DNA as well as the example parental involvement sets, but the point of the study is to prove that having parents around causes children to behave better, no matter the cause.

  3. GtothemfckinP says:

    I am so tired of the non-socially adept/introverted using that character trait as an excuse to not do shit. Buck up and get involved. I don’t particularly like people. They annoy me. But I still jump in and get involved.

  4. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Let’s see, can I write an article about a study without even reading it too? I’m going to cite a study that says people who can’t be bothered to read the actual study, are more likely to regurgitate “points” of the study to the public in an effort to create linkbait, rather than pass along informed information.

  5. carolyncastiglia says:

    Mistress_Scorpio: you keep asking for permission to write in all of your comments. Stop leaving negative comments here, go start a blog and you can write whatever you like. I encourage you to follow your dreams! It may make you happier. I’d like to say to you what I just said to LindaLou: no one is making you read my posts. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I have enough parenting to do with my own daughter, I don’t want to have to police a blog. Thanks.

  6. jenny tries too hard says:

    Yes, recognizing that correlation does not equal causation is EXACTLY the same as saying shy people shouldn’t have to do anything. For what it’s worth, I agree that getting out of one’s comfort zone is generally a good thing, for the kids and the parents…I just see a bit of an issue if we start pinning hopes for improved social skills on the mandated presence of parents in the classroom, and I wonder about what sort of problems we’d see if parents with poor social skills/habits (like cursing for attention, judgmental attitudes) were required to be in the classroom, proudly sporting the chip-on-shoulder, as well.

    @carolyn, no one is making us read the posts, but you do kind of WANT us to, right? Loyal readers like Scorpio and LindaLou are the eyes and clicks on the ads that pay for babble. You shouldn’t be afraid of criticism—you’re in a creative field, criticism is part of the deal—you should be afraid of people LEAVING. If they’re criticizing, they’re reading and providing free feedback for you to improve with. Like with the “hooker, bish” post, you learned that we don’t like writers treating a custody fight like a catfight scene in a bad movie, and you cooled that language off as far as I can tell. You don’t look well when you have the if-you-cant-say-something-nice attitude. It’s good for the playground, for gift receiving, not really good for writers.

  7. GtothemfckinP says:

    @Scorp: PWNED! hahahahaha!

    newsflash…most journalists and bloggers for these light web pubs DON’T read the whole study…first, the studies aren’t free, second, they’re long and, after all, this is just a blog, not really that scientific…the writers leave the amateur scientific analysis to all the *very smart* readers…

  8. GtothemfckinP says:

    another newsflash…that’s kind of the point of blog posts…linkbait…get with the program

  9. jenny tries too hard says:

    what does pwned mean?

  10. GtothemfckinP says:

    use the Google

  11. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    GP, how’s that not ever posting on Babble again working for you? Manjari, those nickels keep trickling in, you’ll be a wealthy SAHM in no time!

  12. GtothemfckinP says:

    I couldn’t resist delighting in your smack down, Mistress_Know_it_All…you suck!!! And it’s a slow work day. OK…on to something more productive. Bwahahahahaha!

  13. jenny tries too hard says:

    yes, we need more smackdowns and you sucks and use of words like pwned. how old are you, GP?

  14. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Carolyn, you’ve been a performer long enough to know how to read your audience. This site got rid of good writers under the guise of new talent. The readers critiqued them as well. Most readers here are pretty savvy. You should be prepared to back up your assertions and own what you write, not blow off questions showing you didn’t even bother do the reading. It’s not a good look.

  15. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    Really GP, you work? Unless it’s for Babble as resident LCD and troll, I can’t imagine you get much else done. Oh well, guess the economy must be getting better if you’re employable.

  16. GtothemfckinP says:

    Seriously, I am pretty sure I make more than you with the work I do in my spare time. Because I’m smart and talented. And not a pregnant call girl.

  17. jenny tries too hard says:

    and doggone it people like you…

  18. Mistress_Scorpio says:

    No longer engaging the fool. Have fun rolling around in the gutter alone, dollface.

  19. JBoogie says:

    No, GP, you just call people fat, tell them they suck, and continually get everyone excited by saying “I’m done”, “I’m never posting on Babble again”…and then, you’re back. You wrote you don’t generally like people, and they annoy you. Well, we don’t like you either, and you annoy everyone! In the past few weeks you have told everyone how nimble, agile, skinny, smart, and talented you are while at the same time bragging about how you are “pretty sure” you make more money than us too and reminding EVERY OTHER MOTHER IN THE WORLD that you are perfect and you just simply cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t want to do it your way, because that just makes them stupid and lazy and child abusers. Do you actually know people that don’t try to run when they see you? I cannot imagine how horrid you are in real life.

  20. LindaLou says:

    LMAO! Yay! Carolyn, your “fan” is known as the biggest troll on here and you’re telling all the regulars to leave or not post. As if you have that power. Honestly, there’s nothing good to read lately and even less to have intelligent discussion about. Just thinking that your posts aren’t as good as the posts of the former writers and saying it only means that well, your posts aren’t that great. I know, I know. That opinion makes me a “bad mom” and “you fear for my children” being raised by such a “bully,” Seriously, you come across as really freakin’ stupid.

  21. patricia says:

    I’m a little behind on this discussion, but I have to say that this exchange has cemented my decision to leave Babble for good. I’ve been reading regularly since its inception in 2006, and I’ve always enjoyed it, but the quality of the writing has continually declined. This post and the comments thereto are a new low- I seriously cannot believe that you are really telling commenters to go away, Carolyn. On an ad-based site? And if you’re so sensitive that Scorpio’s criticism gets under your skin this much, then maybe you shouldn’t write for a blog whose raison d’etre is being provocative. Anyway, I’m off the site for good. I know no one here cares, but I thought the publisher may be interested to know that the quality has sunk low enough to chase off this formerly-loyal reader. Or maybe not. Either way, go find other eyeballs to monetize.

  22. Kathy Seal says:

    Comments If you want to see some good reporting on the research on parental involvement, check this out:

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