Yo sí participo: Latinx Parental Involvement in Education In the U.S. Despite Structural Barriers and Cultural Misperceptions

Elizabeth Vargas, Seattle University


Latinx immigrants are the fastest-growing minority in the United States. Yet research shows that these immigrants and their American-born children are less likely to obtain a post-secondary education. Further, research suggests that lack of Latinx parental involvement in education is a significant factor contributing to the low educational attainment for these students. However, Latinx parents face barriers that limit their participation in schools, and their efforts to support their children's education often go unseen. This qualitative study explores the experiences of parental involvement in schools among Latinx parents. Semi-structured phone interviews were conducted with five Latinx mothers. Results suggest that parents are committed to success of their children in education despite the obstacles of language barriers, social exclusion and racism, and poor communication from school and teachers. Parents' narratives also demonstrate how structural barriers and cultural exclusions are the main challenges these parents face that hinder their parental involvement in education.