Parent Involvement Matters

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As an intern therapist, I experienced the neatest thing with several of my consumers after this Labor Day weekend. Many came so excited to talk about the outings they did with either their moms, dads, grandparents, or siblings. It seemed that there was a similar theme for all of them: getting to spend quality time and have fun with family. While these outings were not financially burdensome –  for example some of the outings included going to the park, going to the river, going to a football game, etc. – these children were so happy about the fun times they had with the family member(s). This got me to thinking about how much parental or family involvement means to children, and also about the little things parents can do to be involved in their children’s lives.

Related to this thought, basic research suggests that there may also be a link between couple relationship quality/interactions and parental involvement. Specifically, marital/couple conflict has been linked to several negative parenting behaviors, such as harsh discipline, lack of parental involvement, and parent-child conflict. On the other hand, positive marital/couple relationships can spillover and positively affect the quality, behaviors, and involvement of the parent-child relationship. Therefore, educational efforts to strengthen the couple relationship may positively affect parenting behaviors and involvement and in turn, can promote child well-being.

Alexa Calligas

Graduate Research Assistant

Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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