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  Parental Reinforcement

Parental Report of Reinforcement
Last updated: May, 2005

This scale assesses parent self-reports of parental reinforcement behaviors with the child. The scale was adapted from Martinez-Pons (1996) and was used during our recent three-year study of the parental involvement process (Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler, 2005).  

The scale employed a six-point Likert-type response scale: 1 = not at all true, 2 = a little bit true, 3 = somewhat true, 4 = often true, 5 = mostly true, 6 = completely true.

Alpha reliability for the scale with a sample of 358 parents of public school students in grades 4-6 was .96, as reported in Hoover-Dempsey & Sandler (2005).

Parents were asked to respond to the following prompt:
“Parents and families do many different things when they help their children with schoolwork. We would like to know how true the following things are for you and your family when you help your child with schoolwork. Please think about the current school year as you read and respond to each item.”

We show this child we like it when he or she …
… wants to learn new things.
... tries to learn as much as possible.
... has a good attitude about doing his or her homework.
... keeps working on homework even when he or she doesn’t feel like it.
... asks the teacher for help.
... explains what he or she thinks to the teacher.
... explains to us what he or she thinks about school.
... works hard on homework.
... understands how to solve problems.
... sticks with a problem until he or she solves it.
... organizes his or her schoolwork.
... checks his or her work.
... finds new ways to do schoolwork when he or she gets stuck.


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.

Martinez-Pons, M. (1996). Test of a model of parental inducement of academic self-regulation. Journal of Experimental Education, 64, 213-227.

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