The Effects of Family-School Partnership Interventions on Academic and Social-Emotional Functioning: a Meta-Analysis Exploring What Works for Whom

Abstract

Family-school partnership (FSP) interventions capitalize on connections between families and schools, as parents and teachers jointly promote child development through activities that bridge both settings. The current meta-analysis assessed the effects of FSP interventions on children’s academic and social-emotional competencies. From initial comprehensive search procedures (i.e., online reference databases, hand searches of relevant journals, and cited references) yielding over 19,000 abstracts, our study sample included 77 FSP intervention studies with 438 effect sizes. Studies including the following comprised our final sample: (1) an FSP intervention, (2) school-aged children, (3) academic and/or social-emotional outcomes, (4) a naturalistic setting, and (5) an experimental or quasi-experimental group design. Utilizing robust variance estimation (RVE), results revealed that FSP interventions significantly and positively impacted children’s academic achievement (δ = .25 ) and behaviors (δ = .30), social-behavioral competence (δ = .32), and mental health (δ = .34). Additionally, particular structural (i.e., home-based involvement) and relational (i.e., school to home communication, collaboration, bi-directional communication) components significantly contributed to FSP intervention effects. Mixed-effects meta-regression analyses were used to assess if effects of FSP intervention components were moderated by children’s grade or race/ethnicity. Results indicated that certain FSP intervention components (i.e., bi-directional communication, behavioral support) were more effective for older students. No significant moderation effects were found race/ethnicity, indicating that FSP intervention components were effective across participants. Overall, findings provide further support for the use of FSP interventions to support youth outcomes. Future meta-analyses should include single-case design studies and explore unique combinations of FSP intervention components.

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Author note. The research reported in this article was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grants R305A120144 to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and R305B150028 to the University of Missouri. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the Institute of Education Sciences or the U.S. Department of Education.

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Smith, T.E., Sheridan, S.M., Kim, E.M. et al. The Effects of Family-School Partnership Interventions on Academic and Social-Emotional Functioning: a Meta-Analysis Exploring What Works for Whom. Educ Psychol Rev 32, 511–544 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-019-09509-w

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Keywords

  • Family-school partnership
  • Parent involvement
  • Meta-analysis
  • Academic competence
  • Social-emotional functioning