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Hmong Parental Involvement and Support: A Comparison Between Families of High and Low Achieving High School Seniors

Author(s): John Kha Lee | Katherine Green

Journal: Hmong Studies Journal
ISSN 1091-1774

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Hmong Americans | Hmong Studies | Asian American Studies | Educational Achievement

The Hmong are some of the newest refugees who have settled in the United States with population estimates around 300,000. Unfortunately research has shown many Hmong children are not as successful in their education as their peers. Parental involvement in education has consistently been shown to impact academic success and attendance in higher education programs. Little is known about Hmong parental involvement in their children’s education process. Therefore, this study was done to compare and contrast the general family characteristics, parenting methods, parental involvement philosophies, parental involvement experiences, and parental education expectations in Hmong families of high school seniors classified as either high academic achievers or low achievers. Students were classified into either higher or lower academic achievement groups based on their high school cumulative GPA. Five students were randomly selected for each group and a qualitative research interview method was used to interview the students and both of their parents (n=30). The findings showed the parents of the higher academic achieving students were younger, had higher levels of education, and had better relationships and trust with the students. Parents from both groups did not have any written rules for their children to follow at home, they mainly became involved in their children’s education during the elementary and middle school years, and they did not have any specific preference of an educational level, career, or school for their children after high school. Recommendations for ways Hmong families can be encouraged to participate more in education are made.
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