Changing patterns of parent–teacher communication and parent involvement from preschool to school

Elizabeth Murray*, Laura McFarland-Piazza, Linda J. Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the nature of parent involvement and parent–educator communication in prior-to-school early childhood settings and school, to explore relations to social capital variables and consistencies and changes in practices over time. Parent interview and teacher questionnaire data from two waves of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children were analysed. Results indicated that parental involvement and communication decreased as children moved from prior-to-school settings to school. Educators in both settings reported using similar strategies to promote parent involvement and communication, but there were setting differences for parents' ratings of communication effectiveness. Using regression analyses, family socio-economic position (SEP), home language (English versus other), Indigenous status and home educational activities were examined as predictors of parent involvement and communication strategies, and effectiveness. Results showed that parents who were more engaged in education activities at home were more involved in their child's early childhood and school settings, had more frequent communication with educators and rated educator communication effectiveness more highly. SEP and home language were less consistent predictors, and Indigenous status was not associated with any of the measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1052
Number of pages22
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • parent involvement
  • parent–teacher communication
  • social capital
  • parent participation


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