Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

First Advisor

Charles Teddlie

Second Advisor

Dianne Taylor


A family literacy, Title I program was studied to determine the attitudes and beliefs which affect parental participation in a family literacy program. The theoretical framework of cultural capitol assumed that parents who chose to participate in a family literacy program possess different components in their cultural capitol than parents who choose not to participate. There were 3 Hypotheses and 6 Study Questions which guided this parallel mixed model study with dominant (qualitative)-less dominant (quantitative) design. A Title I Family Literacy Program located in a large, urban, public school system was the study site. The sample size consisted of 40 parents who were divided into two groups according to their participation in the Family Literacy Program: one the high participation parent group and one low-participation parent group. The sample also consisted of 27 children whose parents were in the high-participation group. The quantitative results provided evidence in support the 3 Hypotheses suggesting that high-participation parents have more favorable attitudes toward their children education than that of low-participation parents. Children participating in a Family Literacy Program also evidenced significant gains between pretest and posttest scores. The qualitative results suggested that high-participation parents held higher educational expectations for themselves and their children when compared to low-participation parents. High-participation parents also engaged in writing activities (81%) and reading activities (64%) more than low-participation parents. All 20 high-participation parents (100%) also read to their children on a regular basis, as compared to 20% of low-participation parents. The results of this study suggest that Family Literacy Programs broaden the cultural capitol of the parents' who choose to participate. Parents who chose to participate in a Family Literacy program were found to undergo a process of change. The author developed a theory of parental involvement, Stages of Parental Involvement Family Literacy Programs with assumptions regarding a parent's attitudes and beliefs, networks, self-efficacy, motivation, and goals. The author discussed 4 stages of parental involvement in this theory: "Investigation," "Toe Dipping," "Step/Stand," and "Wading."