Parental beliefs and perceptions have also been shown to be a strong predictor of parental involvement. Parents' educational aspirations and level of comfort with school and staff have been shown to predict levels of participation. In addition, parents' beliefs about their responsibilities as parents, their ability to influence their children's education, and their perceptions of their children's interests in school subjects have been shown to predict their participation at home and in school. Teacher training programs spend very little time helping students understand the impact of parents on student learning and how teachers can help parents participate in their children's education.
Three frameworks for exploring the precursors and effects of parental participation have been the basis for most research on parental involvement. Parent participation includes a wide range of behaviors, but generally refers to the use and investment of resources by parents and family members in the education of their children. Research on the effects of parent participation has demonstrated a consistent and positive relationship between parental involvement in their children's education and student outcomes. One approach to overcoming these barriers to parent participation is to increase the degree to which teacher training covers the topic of parent participation.
Research has demonstrated differences in parental involvement, parental beliefs, and the relationship between home and school between socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial groups. In a study published in 1991, Epstein and Dauber found that, compared to middle school teachers, elementary school teachers more strongly believed that parental involvement matters to students and that they provide more opportunities and help parents to participate in their children's education. In addition, parents of elementary school students tend to be more involved in their children's education than parents of older students.