Tanya Green, lead researcher for the Parent Involvement and Fatherhood Initiative sent this update on the Smith Institute STAR Grant project.
STAR Grant Update: Parent Involvement and Fatherhood Initiative: 4-D Project
PI: Tanya Greene, MS
Student Researcher: Cynthia Douglas
Research has shown there is a link between parent involvement and children’s success in school. Further, studies have also demonstrated a correlation between parent involvement and children’s educational development as it relates to their intrinsic academic motivation (Gottfried, Fleming & Gottfried, 1994). Gathered from the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse are these facts: Girls with strong relationships with their fathers do better in mathematics; boys with actively involved fathers tend to get better grades and perform better on achievement tests; highly involved fathers also contribute to increased mental dexterity in children, increased empathy and greater self-control. The presence and participation of responsible fathers increases the improvement of grade performance and decreases behavioral problems. Fathers are an important and yet often underrepresented figure in their child’s education and the inclusion of ethnic, minority fathers is even more infrequent.
The pilot focused on fathers and their supportive roles within their family dynamic however, the key focus was their parental engagement within the children’s schools. This engagement could range from reading with the children, volunteering, serving on the Parent Teacher Association (P.T.A.) or attending parent-teacher conferences. The purpose of the study is to: (1) see what barriers these father’s face as it relates to their children’s education and (2) in what ways these fathers can gain support or encouragement.
As the pilot progressed, the public within the Northwest Corridor was surveyed to gauge how active their fathers were in their academics while attending school. Cynthia Douglas (Community Health Major) assisted with developing the survey and surveying the public. Forty people were surveyed and range in age from 19-39. There were 21 males (52.5%) and 19 females (47.5%) who participated in the study . The racial make-up consisted of 75.0% Black/African-American, 5.0% White/Caucasian, 2.5% who reported Black/African-American and other and 2.5% who reported White/Caucasian and Hispanic.
Cynthia Douglas will use the pilot project as a preliminary framework for her Senior Paper.
Currently a PowerPoint presentation is being developed from the project. The PowerPoint and poster board display will be available for review at the JCSU 2015 Research Symposium and Showcase.
Well, 4-D means 4-Dads Project. However, in a broader perspective it also means that the dads are great dads because to be a dad you have to be dimensional in 4 ways (or more): 1) devoted; 2) dedicated; 3) determined; not to 4) deter dreams.
Scientifically, three dimension is an enhanced illusion, and when we thought of how important dads are to a child’s educational and personal progress, we thought how wonderful it would be if there were such a thing as “four dimension” then these fathers would really stand out beyond three dimension as enhanced dads who go beyond their duties and who are overly active in participating in their lives. We wanted the fathers to go beyond their normal habits, behaviors, etc. when they parent.