Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Education Specialist


Head Start, a federally funded preschool program that provides a diverse array of services to children ages three to five years, strongly emphasizes the importance of parent involvement in its program. The purpose of the present study was to examine Head Start parents' perceptions of the parent involvement component of a regional Head Start program. Specifically, this study assessed barriers to parent involvement with the program, parent participation and satisfaction with the program, and whether or not parents were aware of the various aspects of the Head Start parent involvement component. This study also compared satisfaction ratings of parents who had a child with a disability to those who had a child without a disability. A questionnaire was developed based on Head Start performance standards and a review of the literature. The questionnaire was completed by 451 parents in a rural Kentucky Head Start District. The results indicated that work and school were often identified as barriers to parent participation in this Head Start district. However, there appears to be additional unknown factors related to parent involvement other than the barriers currently and previously identified in research. The results also suggest that parents were overwhelmingly satisfied with all aspects of the program and were aware of most parent involvement services offered by Head Start.


Education | Psychology