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Selected Development Project
Project Title

A Longitudinal Study of Parental Involvement and School Adjustment during the Transition to School

Principal Investigator Dr LAU Yi Hung Eva
Area of Research Project
Psychological Studies, Family Studies
Project Period
From 01/2015 To 12/2016
  • To identify the associations between parental involvement and children’s school adjustment
  • To examine the changes in parental involvement during the transition to primary school
  • To explore the factors (e.g., parental efficacy) that influence parental involvement in early childhood and primary education
Methods Used
Stratifies random sampling will be employed to recruit 9 kindergartens in Hong Kong. Within each kindergarten, two upper kindergarten (K3) classes with children aged 5-6 will be randomly selected. All participating kindergarten principals as well as the lead class teachers and one randomly selected parent from each class will participate in the individual interviews at Time 1 to explore their beliefs and practices of parental involvement. The parents will also be invited to participate in a follow-up interview after their child has entered primary school (Time 2) to examine changes of their involvement. On the other hand, approximately 360 children and their parents as well as their lead class teachers will complete a series of tasks at each time point. Parents as well as kindergarten (Time 1) and primary school lead class teachers (Time 2) will report on parental involvement, while teachers will also rate children’s school adjustment. At both time points, the child assessment session will be conducted to assess children’s school adjustment and their parents’ involvement.
Summary of Findings
  • This two-wave longitudinal study utilized the mixed-methods and multi-informant approaches to examine parental involvement during the transition to primary school in Hong Kong.
  • Major findings:
    The results revealed that parent-child discussion and parents’ school-based involvement increased over time. Furthermore, findings revealed that mothers’ involvement in language and cognitive activities during kindergarten predicted better school adjustment after school transition and that mothers were more involved at their children’s primary schools when children had low cognitive skills during kindergarten.
  • Systematic examination of a parental involvement investigating its antecedents, stability and influence on young children’s outcomes during the transition to primary school
  • Contribute to a theoretical understanding of the complex associations between parental involvement and children’s school adjustment
  • Lay the foundation upon which further support can be built in both the local and international community for facilitating parental involvement from the early education years where involvement levels are low
Selected Output

Lau, E. Y. H. (2016). A mixed-methods study of paternal involvement in Hong Kong. British Educational Research Journal, 42, 1023-1040. doi: 10.1002/berj.3248

Biography of Principal Investigator

Dr Eva Yi Hung Lau is Assistant Professor of the Department of Early Childhood Education and Programme Coordinator of Master of Arts in Child and Family Education at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research interest lies in family influences on children's school adjustment. She also explores the influences of various parenting behaviours on children's social behaviours. She was recently funded by the Research Grants Council of the University Grants Committee (Hong Kong) to investigate the impact of parental involvement on children’s adjustment during the transition to primary school.

Funding Source

Early Career Scheme