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Contexts, Networks, and Institutions

College of Liberal Arts

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As individuals develop, they become interconnected with other individuals through layers of geographic contexts, social networks, and organized institutions. PRC Faculty Scholars study the ways that individuals and families are affected by economic contexts, schools, neighborhoods, friend networks, workplaces, laws and law enforcement, social services, cultures, religion, and media.

Research Briefs

Brazilian Parents’ Involvement In Education Supports Their Children’s Dedication To Schoolwork and Math and Reading Achievement

Andrew E. Koepp, Elizabeth T. Gershoff, and Letícia J. Marteleto, February 2023

Decades of research from the United States and other high-income countries has demonstrated that parents’ involvement in their children’s education positively impacts student academic achievement. However, it is not clear if these findings generalize to a middle income country such as Brazil, where average education is lower and resources to invest in children are more limited. On the other hand, Brazilian parents might encourage children’s schooling because Brazilians benefit from some of the highest returns to education in the world. Using data from several million fifth-grade and ninth-grade students enrolled in Brazilian public schools, PRC Graduate Student Trainee Andrew Koepp, PRC Director Liz Gershoff, and PRC Faculty Scholar Letícia Marteleto found that parent involvement was indirectly linked to student achievement through students’ completion of homework and that even involved parents with few years of formal schooling supported their children’s academic achievement. They argue that interventions and outreach programs should therefore target all parents to improve children's long-term academic and career success. Brief also available in Portuguese.