Parent Involvement and the Summer Slide: Does Parents’ Time Spent With Children Vary by Race?

Corey Culver
John R. Warren, University of Minnesota

Racial and socio-economic gaps in educational achievement widen during the summer months and remain steady during the school year. What explains the “summer setback” documented in previous research? We analyze time-use data asking two questions: 1) Are there racial and socio-economic differences in both how parents spend time and types of activities done with children during the summer? 2) Are there racial and socioeconomic differences in the types of activities parents engage in with their children during the summer compared to the school year? We hypothesize that racial/ethnic minority and low-SES parents spend less time engaging with children in educationally-beneficial activities, and racial and socioeconomic differences in such time-use will be larger in summer months as compared to academic year months. Using American Time Use Survey time diaries, we develop broader, richer measures of the activity’s parents engage in with children. This research extends knowledge on parenting and the achievement gap.

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 Presented in Session 2. Children & Youth