Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Natalie T. J. Tindall, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Yuki Fujioka, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Leonard Ray Teel, Ph.D.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Hispanic parents face several barriers that impede their involvement in their children’s education. This lack of parental involvement negatively affects the academic outcome of students, graduation rates, and college attendance. This study uses the situational theory of publics to determine what kind of public Mexican parents are, and makes recommendations on what is the best way to engage them and motivate them to participate in schools. Seventeen Mexican mothers were interviewed about their views on education and relationships with their children’s teachers and schools. Findings revealed that the main barriers to parental involvement among Mexican parents are work, language and lack of childcare. The study discusses some strategies that schools can use to help parents overcome barriers to involvement. This research is important because for the first time it uses communications, and more specifically public relations theories, to further the research on Hispanic parental involvement.

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