کمک به انجمن اولیا و مربیان برای اثربخشی فرزند پروری : فراتر از وضعیت اجتماعی و سرمایه اجتماعی غیر رسمی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4098||2008||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The Journal of Socio-Economics, Volume 37, Issue 3, June 2008, Pages 1134–1152
Objective Empirical research is required to shed light on the issue concerning the support the parent–teacher association (PTA) for parents of schoolchildren. It is to examine if the benefit stems from informal social capital arising from the PTA. Method A telephone survey collected data from parents whose children studied in a grade between Grades 4 and 9 in Hong Kong. Results The benefits of PTA membership and help were significant. However, the contribution of informal social capital to change in parenting efficacy was insignificant. Discussion Consequently, The benefit of the PTA is not attributable to informal social capital.
Promoting mutual support among schoolchildren's parents, notably through parent–teacher associations (PTAs) or parental organizations receives pervasive support from the governments of many modern societies (Hood, 1999 and Norwood and Atkinson, 1997). Government officials and educators in many countries often regard the promotion as a cost-effective way to enhance parents’ parenting efficacy, which in turn champions schoolchildren's academic achievement (CERI, 1997, Desimone, 1999 and Edwards and Jo, 1999). Therefore, PTAs are prevalent in various countries, ranging from the United States (e.g., National PTA, with 5.7 million members), Britain (e.g., National Confederation of parent–teacher associations, representing 7 million parents), Japan (Knipprath, 2005), Pakistan (Educational International, 2003), and Hong Kong (Pang, 2005). Conceivably, parents’ mutual support constitutes social capital, which engender further benefits in sustaining social solidarity, social control, and societal stability (McNeal, 1999). Proponents of the development of social capital anticipate that social capital can create many externalities, beneficial not only to those gaining access to social capital but also to other people (Sampson et al., 1999). The advocacy of building social capital through parents’ social capital, mutual support, and enrollment in PTAs, however, is not viable, effective, and justifiable according to critics. Notably, critics maintain that the viability and effectiveness of parents’ social capital development hinge on the parents’ socioeconomic status. Accordingly, only parents with higher status contribute to and benefit from the social capital in the PTA (de Carvalho, 2001, Desimone, 1999 and Vincent, 1997). Similarly, critics assert that parents who are not congenial to the middle or upper class culture of the PTA would experience the PTA as a burden rather than a benefit. These critical views hold that the promotion of the PTA and parents’ social capital development is not justifiable because many parents are incapable of offering support to the PTA and other parents. The controversy arising from diverse views about the contribution of parents’ social capital is in need of empirical clarification, which the present study pursues. The study aim is to gauge the influences of socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds on creating and benefiting from social capital through the PTA. In this connection, social capital refers to resources inherent in a person's social networks that potentially help the person (Feuerstein, 2000 and Coleman, 1988). It is distinguishable from a person's cultural capital, which is an essential part of the cultural background that comprises beliefs and lifestyles that are consonant with the surrounding culture (de Carvalho, 2001 and Feuerstein, 2000). A common feature of capital is that it represents a resource that can convert into various resources and forms of capital to proliferate its benefit (Collier, 2002 and Krishna and Uphoff, 2002). 1.1. Anticipated benefits from the PTA Proponents of the PTA or partnership involving teachers and parents of schoolchildren maintain that the PTA is beneficial to all people, not just middle class members (Epstein, 2001). Moreover, proponents assert that the PTA helps lower class people more than helps those of higher classes, because disadvantaged parents have the greatest need for support from the PTA (Parker, 1999). As such, universal enrollment in the PTA is desirable to maximize social inclusion and help available from the PTA (Ho, 1999). The help, accordingly, would flow from parents’ participation to the elevation of parents’ concern for and assistance to their children and eventually children's academic outcomes (Rosier, 2001). The benefits would include gains in parents’ attitudes and skills (Hornby, 2000). As such, the favorable view regards the PTA as indispensable to child achievement (Wanat, 1997), and is allegedly more important than money (Radd, 1993). The PTA thus represents an extended family network conducive to communal parenting (Diamond, 2003). The favorable view also regards parents as capable of contributing to the PTA, as their role is more enduring than that of teachers (Hood, 1999). More than accruing benefits to parents and children, the PTA would contribute to a vibrant and well-organized civil society, which takes care of citizens’ interest independent of state intervention (Vincent, 1997). There is no shortage of empirical findings in support of the favorable view of the PTA (Bradley et al., 1988, Cameron and Birnie-Lefcovitch, 2000, Epstein, 2001, Marcon, 1999 and Melby and Conger, 1996). Notably, the findings have shown that the PTA generates social support for parents and raises parents’ parenting skills and children's school achievement. Other favorable outcomes of involvement in the PTA include parents’ satisfaction with child performance and self-esteem, and children's liking of school and well-being (Epstein, 2001, Griffith, 1996, Shumow and Miller, 2001 and Simons et al., 1994). Moreover, the PTA helps the communication between parents and teachers, which is conducive to educational efficiency (Epstein, 2001). The theoretical components responsible for the favorable contribution of the PTA tend to include the generation of social capital and cultural capital. As such, parents and teachers involved in the PTA would maintain sharing and support beneficial to parenting, teaching, and learning in parents, teachers, and schoolchildren (Feuerstein, 2000). Social capital can notably form concomitant with parents’ joining volunteer services organized by the PTA (Pang, 2005). Alternatively, participation in the PTA builds up parents’ cultural capital, in terms of the middle class or upper class culture, which is consonant with that emphasized in school (Feuerstein, 2000 and Ho and Willms, 1996). The consonance of cultures between parents and the school would bolster favorable outcomes even without the generation of instrumental support. Adherents to the favorable view about the contribution of the PTA, nevertheless, resent the role of cultural accommodation (Diamond, 2003). They maintain that the PTA is socially supportive, rather than culturally brainwashing. In the view of the social capital contribution of the PTA, the provision of help and support through the PTA would represent a key of PTA contribution (Teachman et al., 1995). Such a key includes the provision of interpersonal support and even financial assistance. Specifically, interpersonal support comprises appraisal support, belonging support, and tangible support (Cameron and Birnie-Lefcovitch, 2000). They foster parents’ social integration, self-confidence, and tackling problems. The help and support can arise from educational programs, transportation services, day care services, counseling services, home visits, volunteer services, school committees, and other activities and provisions of the PTA (Radd, 1993). These provisions result from parents’ collaboration with teachers (Raffaele and Knoff, 1999). 1.2. Anticipated benefits of social capital Social capital can accrue to a parent independently of a PTA, as even though a school does not have a PTA formally, parents can still coalesce among themselves. Apparently, the essential factor is social capital among parents, probably together with teachers, rather than a PTA (Coleman and Hoffer, 1987). At any rate, proponents of social capital emphasize network closure among parents as the beneficial factor representative of social capital. The closure accordingly refers to mutual familiarity and closeness among all parents. In an example of three parents, closure means that: Parent A is close to both Parents B and C; Parent B is close to both Parents A and C; and Parent C is close to both Parents A and B. Apart from this structural, network feature, a dynamic, functional element of social capital resides in reciprocal help among parents (Muller and Ellison, 2001). The key is in reciprocity rather than help from one side. It stems from an assumption that people who offer help will continue to do so and people who receive help will reciprocate. As such, social capital among parents comprises a structural component and a dynamic, interactional component (Beaulieu et al., 2001 and Teachman and Paesch, 1997). The conceptualization posits that one with a larger stock of social capital would expect to receive more help. Empirical studies have widely supported the contribution of social capital accessible by parents to parenting and child development (Ainsworth, 2002, Bankston and Zhou, 2002, Carbonaro, 1998, Coleman and Hoffer, 1987, Desimone, 1999, McNeal, 1997, McNeal, 1999, McNeal, 2001, Muller and Ellison, 2001, Putnam, 2001 and Teachman and Paesch, 1997). Notable outcomes include the parent's monitoring of the child, and the child's study effort, school achievement, persistence in schooling, and educational attainment. An essential element of beneficial social capital is parents’ closure (Carbonaro, 1998 and Coleman and Hoffer, 1987). A qualification is that the closure does not need to be affectively strong, as weak ties are more helpful than are strong ties (Bankston and Zhou, 2002). 1.3. Expected roles of socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds Critics, however, maintain that socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds overwhelm the contribution of social capital and PTA participation (Portes, 2000). Accordingly, the parent's social and cultural backgrounds determine the parent's access to social capital and enrollment in a PTA, and eventually determine benefits obtained from social capital and the PTA. These claims have drawn support from research findings about the contribution of social class or status (Feuerstein, 2000, Ho and Willms, 1996, Horvat et al., 2003 and Rosier, 2001) and the cultural backgrounds of long-term inhabitants and non-immigrants (Ho and Willms, 1996 and Sampson et al., 1999). One possibility is that social and cultural backgrounds equip the parent and child with human capital, which proves to be a stronger determinant of the child's school achievement than does social capital (Portes and MacLeod, 1999). Other negative evidence for the contribution of social capital to child achievement is also available (Dijkstra et al., 2004). Hence, the benefit attributable to social capital and PTA involvement originates principally from socioeconomic status and cultural capital that is consonant with the school culture (de Carvalho, 2001, Desimone, 1999 and Vincent, 1997). The discrepancy of social and cultural backgrounds among parents would inhibit their participation in and gaining benefits from the PTA (Vincent, 1997). A cultural background that is incongruent with the school culture would breed conflict and undermine collaboration aspired in a PTA (Birenbaum-Carmeli, 1999). 1.4. Expected unique contributions of social capital and the PTA Demonstrating the unique contributions of social capital and the PTA, independent of the impacts of socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds, is important. The unique contribution of social capital beyond merely aggregating individuals’ human capital tends to arise from three sources: (1) capitalizing on slack, unused resources, (2) reduction of transaction costs, and (3) pooling resources to make collective action (Grootaert and van Bastelaer, 2002 and Torsvik, 2000). In the use of slack or unused resources, a social gathering or PTA can mobilize parents to spend their time on productive activities, such as helping each other. Thus, parents with low status, even though they are not engaged in economic activities, can have time to help other parents. In reducing transaction costs, concerning bargaining and monitoring, parents involved in a social network or PTA can get their needed resources with lower costs. It thus affords parents with fewer financial resources to acquire support. In pooling resources to make action, parents in a social network or PTA can capitalize on the economies of scale and critical mass to accomplish something that is untenable for individual parents. As such, parents of low status can make a great difference when they flock together for a common aim. These three reasons for the unique contribution of social capital justify the present investigation of the unique contributions of social capital and the PTA that are independent of the parent's socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. 1.5. Parenting efficacy as the expected outcome of social capital and PTA help Parenting efficacy tends to be an outcome of PTA involvement (Marcon, 1999) and social capital. Furthermore, it is essential for child development and school achievement (Lohman et al., 2004, Parcel and Menaghan, 1994 and Veenstra and Kuyper, 2004). It can affect a vast array of desirable child outcomes, including compliance, self-restraint, and academic self-esteem (Chen et al., 2000, Conger et al., 1997 and Wentzel and Feldman, 1993). Therefore, promoting parenting efficacy is a goal beneficial to society. For this reason, specific services and training programs abound to elevate parenting efficacy (Norwood and Atkinson, 1997 and Romero and Chavkin, 2000). These efforts, nevertheless, would be costly and it is desirable to resort to low-cost alternatives such as social capital and the PTA, particularly for parents of lower socioeconomic status (Crosnoe, 2001 and Parker, 1999). 1.6. Hypotheses According to the favorable view about the contributions of social capital and the PTA, specific hypotheses for the present study are the following: Hypothesis 1. A parent with membership in a PTA is higher on parenting efficacy than is another parent not enrolling in a PTA. Hypothesis 2. A parent with greater social capital is higher on parenting efficacy than is another parent not enrolling in a PTA. Hypothesis 3. A parent receiving more help from a PTA is higher on parenting efficacy than is another parent not enrolling in a PTA. With respect to the critical view about the benefits of social capital and the PTA, socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds are determinants of social capital and help emanating from a PTA, thereby explaining and modifying the benefits. The cultural backgrounds are in terms of attachment to society, concerning the birthplace and duration of residence. The following are the corresponding hypotheses. Hypothesis 4. A parent with higher socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society is more likely to be a member of a PTA. Hypothesis 5. A parent with higher socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society is higher on social capital. Hypothesis 6. A parent with higher socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society is higher on help received from a PTA. Hypothesis 7. A parent with higher socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society is higher on parenting efficacy. Hypothesis 8. A parent with membership in a PTA is higher on parenting efficacy than is another parent not enrolling in a PTA, only when the parent is higher on socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society. Hypothesis 9. A parent with greater social capital in a PTA is higher on parenting efficacy than is another parent not enrolling in a PTA, only when the parent is higher on socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society. Hypothesis 10. A parent receiving more help from a PTA is higher on parenting efficacy than is another parent not enrolling in a PTA, only when the parent is higher on socioeconomic status or longer attachment to society. That is, the critical view expects that socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds, rather than social capital and the PTA, make a difference in the parent's parenting efficacy. 1.7. Sociocultural context in Hong Kong Hong Kong, an administrative region of China, is a well-developed city making voluminous interchanges with all parts in the world. The advocacy for the PTA has taken root for more than a decade, formally since the inauguration of the Home–School Cooperation Committee as a statutory branch of the government. One of the major tasks of the Committee is to canvass and facilitate schools to form their own PTAs or parental organizations. Partly through the effort of the Committee, the number of PTAs rose from 223 in 1993/1994 to 1432 in 2004/2005. This is a phenomenally rapid growth. Consequently, more than three-fourths of secondary schools, primary schools, and kindergartens have formed PTAs. There is sizable variation in socioeconomic status among people in Hong Kong. Economic inequality in Hong Kong is among the top in the world, despite the impressive the economic development of the city (with gini coefficients lingering above .5 in the recent decade). Notably, Hong Kong is virtually the most capitalist in the world in terms of its emphasis on entrepreneurs’ profit making (Ng and Wong, 1999 and Wong, 1995). Meanwhile, it is a highly globalized city (Sin and Chu, 2000). The price of inequality is the maintenance of large scores of disadvantaged people (Estes, 2002). Paradoxically, many people do not feel that they are disadvantaged or deprived (Leung, 1997), as they consider themselves middle class (Lam and Mok, 1997). This neglect of class cleavage is a case similar to many modern societies (Fantasia, 1995 and Pakulski, 1993). Hong Kong is a haven of immigrants and continues to admit a quota of immigrants everyday, typically from the mainland of China. Immigrants tend to be different from local people in certain cultural backgrounds, even though they share Chinese culture in broad terms. The differing developmental trajectories between Hong Kong and Mainland China have created appreciable differences in some cultural dimensions (Leung, 1997). These differences would diminish when the immigrant has stayed in Hong Kong for a longer time (Suen and Chan, 1997). As such, the birthplace and duration of residence in Hong Kong indicate the degree of cultural difference among people in Hong Kong.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Testing the contribution of the PTA in Hong Kong is relevant to other places because of the common prevalence of the PTA in a broad spectrum of countries and the common concern about PTA contribution (CERI, 1997, Educational International, 2003 and Knipprath, 2005). The favorable view concerning the contribution of PTA membership and help to the parent's parenting efficacy is more credible based on the present findings than the critical view about the insignificance of the contribution. Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 3 gain support from the findings that the contribution persists with the control for socioeconomic status and other sociocultural backgrounds. Even though Hypothesis 4, Hypothesis 5, Hypothesis 6 and Hypothesis 7 find strong support and Hypothesis 8 and Hypothesis 10 have some support, they are not sufficient to enable the critical view to overthrow the favorable view. While socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds are responsible for the parent's joining a PTA and receiving its help, they do not fully explain away the contribution of the PTA. Socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds have some impacts on augmenting the contribution of the PTA, but the impacts are weak. Thus, the benefit from the PTA does not differ substantially due to the differences in socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds. As such, the claim that the PTA is helpful to parents of different backgrounds can still hold (Epstein, 2001). On the other hand, findings do not demonstrate the contribution of social capital among parents and its dependence on the parent's and social and cultural backgrounds (Hypothesis 2 and Hypothesis 9). The favorable findings supportive of the contribution of the PTA imply that: (1) the organizational and formal structure is helpful and (2) most parents benefit from the PTA. Formal organization is a factor conducive to the generation of benefits in a PTA (Raffaele and Knoff, 1999). The formal organization is the principal factor to differentiate PTA participation and parents’ informal gathering. Social capital, when it is informal, not operating through a PTA, turns out to confer little benefit on the parent. Another advantage of the organization of a PTA is its integration of support not only from active parents, but also from the school. Collaboration between the PTA and school has been a vital factor contributing to the merit of the PTA (Radd, 1993). Concerted efforts from the PTA and school would generate multiplicative benefits that are not tenable from either party alone. Obviously, the role of a PTA as a bridge between the parent and the school is what the parent desires (Epstein et al., 1997, Griffith, 1996, Ho and Willms, 1996, Ma, 1999, Hornby, 2000, Norwood and Atkinson, 1997 and Radd, 1993). The formal organization of the PTA as a communication channel also serves as an empowering factor for parents, especially for disadvantaged ones (Desimone, 1999, Raffaele, 1999 and Vincent, 1997). This explains why disadvantaged parents do not suffer from their involvement in a PTA. The essential contribution of empowerment is that it raises one's confidence, motivation, and eventually skill for performing tasks, such as parenting (McWhirter, 1994 and Pease, 2002). Apparently, when a parent realizes through interactions with the PTA and school about ways to help his or her children, the parent would feel more efficacious in parenting. Furthermore, parents can obtain support from the school for their ways of parenting, through their collective action enabled by a PTA. Social and cultural backgrounds tend to impose only a weak obstacle to parents’ benefiting from the PTA. Socioeconomic status and the birthplace made a significant but weak difference in parents’ reception of help from the PTA. This observation suggests that the apparent social and cultural differences among people in Hong Kong are not radical. Despite the tremendous difference in income, most people in Hong Kong do not live in a destitute way. Similarly, immigrants do not suffer much from their inability to adapt to life in Hong Kong. Support from the Hong Kong government, including social security and acculturation services, is likely to attenuate the impacts due to socioeconomic and cultural differences (Lam and Ho, 2003). Another reason is that immigrants tend to prepare themselves well for adapting to the life in the host territory (Abrams et al., 1999 and Gurak and Kritz, 2000). Social capital among parents, unlike help from the PTA, did not make a significant change in the parent's parenting efficacy, after controlling for parenting efficacy one year before. Even though social capital had a significant association with parenting efficacy, it may not lead to improvement in the efficacy. Notably, social capital among parents did not give a significant effect (β = .008) even though the analysis removed PTA help as a predictor. Hence, social capital had no significant effect regardless of the presence of PTA help in the analysis. The insignificant finding is not too surprising in view of past findings about the adverse effect of social networks on parenting (Ortega, 2002). In this connection, social networks of parents with similarly parenting practices would reinforce the parent's aggressive parenting. The adverse impact of social capital apparently rests on the informal nature of social capital among parents, which departs from the normative and functional practice promoted by the PTA. As such, even though help from PTA promotes the parent's parenting efficacy, social capital among parents does not. Apparently, normative, functional support from the PTA and lacking in social capital among parents tends to be a cause of the discrepant effects. This observation is reminiscent of the contention about the strength of weak ties (Bankston and Zhou, 2002), which tend to characterize PTA involvement more than social capital among parents. The contribution is not in the strength of ties, but in resources available from people tied. Those weak ties of the parent with PTA executives and members, teachers, and school personnel, and other experts supporting the PTA would be beneficial to the parent. In contrast, the parent's close ties with parents in a closure are likely limited to resources that parents already commonly possess (Horvat et al., 2003). The benefit of PTA membership and help to the parent's parenting efficacy, independent of the parent's social and cultural backgrounds, may embody the merits of the PTA in mobilizing slack resources and collective action with minimal transaction costs. As such, a PTA is typically open to all parents associated with the school at a low cost. It gathers resources from various parties, including parents, teachers, and experts at a low cost also. As many parents contribute to the PTA and other parents voluntarily out of their free time, they do not suffer much due to opportunity costs. Importantly, parents and their allies constitute a critical mass that can make effective action because of the economies of scale. These merits are not usually available in informal social networks among parents. They explain the differential contributions of the PTA and social capital among parents. With respect to economic theory, the significant but weak effects of PTA membership (β = .109) and help (β = .086) on parenting efficacy show that the PTA, like other educational institutions (Ogbu, 1997), contributes a part to the production of effective parental input to home–school cooperation and educational outcomes. The production is effective because PTA help is only among the myriad factors, such as socioeconomic status, cultural capital (reflected in the duration of residence in Hong Kong), attending parenting skill training (Norwood and Atkinson, 1997), and child's low school grade that are conducive to parenting efficacy. Parent members benefit because they received help from a reliable and pertinent source of the PTA at a low transaction cost. This help is effective due to the collective mass of the members and resources gathered by the PTA (Oliver and Marwell, 2002). The low transaction cost in turn stems from voluntary contribution by those parents and school personnel who have resources. In one sense, the PTA redistributes resources from those who have resources to those who do not have. Furthermore, the PTA may create a win–win case for all when school personnel maintain a good relationship with parents and those parents who help others, as donors or volunteers, gain social status (Jones et al., 1998), managerial experience and competence (Verba et al., 1995), and gratification from helping ( Rossi, 2001 and Sokolowski, 1996). The origin of this win–win exchange in the PTA is the sharing of common interest (Williamson et al., 2003) among parents and school personnel in promoting educational outcomes. This common interest attracts parents and school personnel to invest in the PTA to reap desirable return, which is a common impetus in human capital investment (Brown, 2001). 5.1. Further research The purported merits of the PTA deserve further investigation because they are not transparent in the study. As such, the transaction costs, critical mass, and spare resources associated with a PTA require explicit measurements to lead to a rigorous analysis of their impacts on the contribution of the PTA. Very likely, such an examination needs a diverse sample of PTAs, which have sufficient variation in the transaction costs, critical mass, and spare resources. It expects to show that a PTA with higher levels of the critical mass and spare resources and lower transaction costs engenders more benefits to the parent. To conduct analyses rigorously, further research preferably employs a prospective design to gauge predictors and impacts over a longer time than the present cross-sectional, retrospective study. An adequate temporal interval between measurements is necessary to isolate causes from their outcomes. Otherwise, measurements of a single time point as in the present study limit the predictability of the detected findings over time. Further research is necessary to assess the generality of the present findings derived from data of parents in Hong Kong. Among the findings, that concerning the contribution of the PTA may be contingent on the rapid popularization of PTAs in schools in Hong Kong, thanks to governmental promotion. As such, the government, through the Home–School Cooperation Committee and other education related branches, plays a vital role in fueling the operation of the PTA and probably helping the PTA to maximize its benefits. This is a territory-wide administrative factor that helps sustain findings of the present study. It concurs with the notion that government support is a key to the success of the PTA (Edwards and Jo, 1999). In case such a factor is not commonly available in other places, the generality of the present findings to all societies in the world is implausible. As such, the condition for the administrative contribution of the PTA should be a factor for further research. To do this, further research needs to sample from diverse societies, including those having no administrative support for the PTA as well as those having it, in order to discern the impact of administrative support on PTA benefits. 5.2. Implications Despite differences in PTA involvement and help accruing to parents of schoolchildren due to socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds, the sociocultural backgrounds hardly make any alteration in the benefit of the PTA on the parents’ parenting efficacy. The latter finding suggests that the PTA is a favorable organization to parents, regardless of their sociocultural backgrounds. Hence, the PTA merits promotion to recruit and help all parents associated with schools. Universal PTA membership is preferable to avoid excluding parents due to their sociocultural backgrounds. The universal enrollment would maximize resources for the PTA to capitalize on the economies of scale. Nevertheless, some of the merits may be contingent on the sociocultural context of Hong Kong. Notably, government support and a homogeneous culture with little difference between immigrants and long-time inhabitants in Hong Kong may underpin the universal benefit of the PTA. As such, the findings and suggestions would be most suitable to places with similar government support and cultural homogeneity. Nevertheless, parents of lower socioeconomic status are less likely to join a PTA. Apart from opening the PTA to all parents, identifying obstacles to parents of lower status to join the PTA is important. It is justifiable to enroll all parents into the PTA and thus let them benefit from the PTA. Conceivably, minimizing membership fees is a way to overcome the financial obstacle to the parent's participation. Other than financial constraints, parents of lower social status may worry about high psychosocial costs and low tangible benefits from joining the PTA. To relieve this worry, information about the benefit of the PTA needs to be available to parents of lower social status. Besides, as immigrants with lower socioeconomic status experience less help from PTA, they should have equal access to PTA help.