Advocacy Outside of School Print or save as PDF

How is it defined?

Advocacy outside of school refers to the support students receive from their parents and other family members. Parents differ in their level of involvement in their child’s education, but they are more likely to become involved if they perceive that school staff and students want and expect their involvement (Green, Walker, Hoover-Dempsey, & Sandler, 2007).

The Learning Bar’s framework on the drivers of student outcomes includes measures of quality instruction, school context, classroom context and family context. Family context includes measures of student aspirations and advocacy outside of school.

Why is it important?

  • Parental advocacy is related to higher student achievement outcomes, including higher grades and test scores (Jeynes, 2007).
  • Students with involved parents are more likely to attend school regularly and have better social skills (El Nokali, Bachman, & Votruba-Drzal, 2010).
  • Students with involved parents have better emotional functioning and overall mental health than students with less-involved parents (Wang & Sheikh-Khalil, 2014).
  • Higher levels of parental involvement are related to higher levels of student engagement at school (OECD, 2013).

How do we measure it?

In the OurSCHOOL secondary school questionnaire, students respond to questions about whether they have someone at home who consistently provides encouragement and who can be turned to for advice. The scores are scaled on a 10-point scale and the results are reported as “the average score for advocacy outside of school”.


El Nokali, N. E., Bachman, H. J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2010). Parent involvement and children's academic and social development in elementary school. Child Development, 81(3), 988-1005.

Green, C. L., Walker, J. M. T., Hoover-Dempsey, K. V., & Sandler, H. M. (2007). Parents' motivations for involvement in children's education: An empirical test of a theoretical model of parental involvement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 532-544.

Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary school student academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Urban Education, 42(1), 82-110.

OECD (2013), PISA 2012 Results: Ready to Learn: Students’ Engagement, Drive and Self-Beliefs (Volume III), PISA, OECD Publishing.

Wang, M.-T., & Sheikh-Khalil, S. (2014). Does parental involvement matter for student achievement and mental health in high school? Child Development, 85(2), 610-625.

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