Home  
Papers
Scale Descriptions
Current Research
Links
Model
Lab Members



  Parent Efficacy

Parent Efficacy for Helping the Child Succeed in School (Helping My Child Learn)
Last Updated: May, 2005

The scale was developed during a study of relationships among teacher efficacy, parent efficacy, and parent involvement in elementary schools (Hoover-Dempsey, Bassler & Brissie, 1992), drawing on literature on personal efficacy and teacher self-efficacy (Ashton, Webb & Doda, 1983; Bandura 1977, 1984, 1986; Dembo & Gibson, 1985). It assesses parents’ beliefs about their efficacy for helping their children succeed in school.

The original scale reported in Hoover-Dempsey et al. (1992) included 12 items and employed a 5-point Likert-type response scale: 1 = Disagree strongly; 2 = Disagree; 3 = Neither agree or disagree; 4 = Agree; 5 = Agree strongly. Administered to 390 public elementary students’ parents, alpha reliability for the scale was .81.  

Participants were asked to respond to the following prompt:
“We would like you to think about your child __________, in Ms./Mr.’s _________ class. Please circle the number that most closely matches your response to each question. (There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers here; we just want to know what you think.)”  

1.
I know how to help my child do well in school. 
2.
My child is so complex I never know if I'm getting through to him/her. (reverse score)
3.
I don't know how to help my child make good grades in school. (reverse score)
4.
A student's motivation to do well in school depends on the parents.
5.
I feel successful about my efforts to help my child learn.
6.
Other children have more influence on my child's grades than I do. (reverse score)
7.
Most of a student's success in school depends on the classroom teacher, so I have only limited influence. (reverse score)
8.
I don't know how to help my child learn. (reverse score) 
9.
If I try hard, I can get through to my child even when he or she has difficulty understanding something.
10.
I make a significant difference in my child's school performance.
11.
Other children have more influence on my child's motivation to do well in school than I do. (reverse score)
12.
My efforts to help my child learn are successful.


We subsequently adapted the measure in a series of studies by reducing the number of items to allow its inclusion in a broader set of measures for parents (see Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 2005; Walker, Wilkins, Dallaire, Sandler, & Hoover-Dempsey, 2005),

The adapted measure used a 6-point Likert-type response scale: 1 = Disagree very strongly; 2 = Disagree; 3 = Disagree just a little; 4 = Agree just a little; 5 = Agree; 6 = Agree very strongly.

Alpha reliability for the 7-item measure reported by Walker et al. (2005; see also Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 2005) was .78.

Participants were asked to respond to the following prompt:
“Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.  Please think about the current school year as you consider each statement.”


1.
I know how to help my child do well in school.
2.
I don’t know if I’m getting through to my child. (reverse score)
3.
I don’t know how to help my child make good grades in school. (reverse score)
4.
I feel successful about my efforts to help my child learn.
5.
Other children have more influence on my child’s grades than I do. (reverse score)
6.
I don’t know how to help my child learn. (reverse score)
7.
I make a significant difference in my child’s school performance.

References

Ashton, P. T., Webb, R. B., & Doda, N. (1983). A study of teacher sense of efficacy. Final Report. Gainesville: University of Florida.  ERIC EDRS# ED231833.

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 34, 191-215.

Bandura, A. (1984). Recycling misconceptions of perceived self-efficacy. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 8, 231-255.

Bandura, A. (1986). The explanatory and predictive scope of self-efficacy theory.  Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 4, 359-373.

Dembo, M. H., & Gibson, S. (1985). Teachers’ sense of efficacy:  An important factor in school improvement. The Elementary School Journal, 86,(2), 173-184.

Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., Bassler, O.C., & Brissie, J.S. (1992). Explorations in parent-school relations. Journal of Educational Research, 85, 287-294.  
  
Hoover-Dempsey, K.V., & Sandler, H.M. (2005). Final Performance Report for
OERI Grant # R305T010673: The Social Context of Parental Involvement: A
Path to Enhanced Achievement
. Presented to Project Monitor, Institute of
Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, March 22, 2005.


Walker, J. M. T., Wilkins, A. S., Dallaire, J. P., Sandler, H. M., &
Hoover-Dempsey, K. V. (2005). Parental involvement:  Model revision through scale development.Elementary School Journal, 106(2); 85-104.

The Family-School Partnership Lab is part of the Psychology and Human Development Department, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University.