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Parent interactions in mediating behaviour problems of school-aged students: A case study set in a small BC Coastal community

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Thesis type
(Dissertation) Ed.D.
Date created
In the process of parents’ interactions with principals and teachers to resolve behaviour problems, what happens that is likely to create positive outcomes for children in school? Research literature establishes that parent interactions, whether for behaviour or academic reasons, are directed by subtly defined or invisible parameters that provide inherent institutional influence to outcomes. Bourdieu’s social reproduction theory, which relates to the influence of cultural, social, and symbolic capital acting as currency in social behaviour, guided the study. A qualitative case study research design was used to examine parents’ experiences of parent-school interactions that twelve study-participants described in their attempts to resolve their children’s behaviour problems at school. The guiding research question was: How does social reproduction theory help to understand parents’ interactions with the school system regarding student behaviour? Study findings revealed the depth of caring and persistence that parents demonstrate in their parent-school interactions and administrators’ deep commitment to working with families to resolve behaviour problems. The study exposed the need to articulate differences in the concepts of parent-school involvement and parent-school engagement, ideas that when viewed on a continuum lead towards shared parent-school leadership, prompting better outcomes for children. Study results suggested school personnel had a lack of recognition and acceptance of parent knowledge about their children. Findings also suggested a lack of alignment between parents’ experiences and the study’s reported outcomes by school administrators’ regarding their work with parents. Key themes from the research included the influence of social networks, strengthening relationships, communication practices, and social reciprocity in shaping parental interactions. Study findings indicate that parents want a space and recognition on the school landscape to share the work of supporting their children and that parent-school partnerships can create meaningful approaches in their interactions to mutually resolve their children’s behaviour problems
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Pidgeon, Michelle
Thesis advisor: Robbie, Byron
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etd9299_MdeJong.pdf 3.31 MB

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