Children whose parents are more involved during their kids' elementary school years have fewer problem behaviors and better social skills, according to a new study.
The study carried out under the auspices of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), was based on information about more than 1,300 children from 10 U.S. cities who were followed from birth to fifth grade.
The study aimed at learning how parent involvement affects children's academic, social, and emotional well-being in elementary school. The children studied were mostly White and about evenly divided by gender.
According to the findings, parents' involvement - visits to the school, encouraging educational progress at home, remedied children's problem behaviors (including both aggressive and disruptive behaviours as well as anxiety and depression. At the same time, their so-called pro-social skills (such as cooperation and self-control) improved.
Their involvement however, did not affect achievement possibly because it wasn't specific to academic performance of the child.
"The study shows that parents continue to wield considerable influence on children's development through elementary school," according to the researchers. "Therefore, the study has implications for policies to encourage involvement."
The study is published in the May/June 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.