Decreasing the Pervasive Achievement Gap Between Latino and White Students Through Targeted School-Based, Family-Centered Interventions
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This dissertation, presented in the form of a grant application, intends to deliver a technique for decreasing the pervasive achievement gap between White and Latino students. Specifically, the aim of the proposal is to identify and implement a school-embedded, family-centered intervention designed to address the local values and concerns of a southern Oregon Latino population. Latino students face unique acculturation stressors under the current U.S. system that create academic difficulties, place strain on familial relationships, and put students at greater risk for problem behavior. In addition, barriers in the U.S. school system present challenges for recently immigrated Latino parents to participate within the school. When embedded in schools, family-centered interventions addressing the needs of Latino students will strengthen the parent-child-teacher relationship and create support structures across family and school social systems to help decrease the achievement gap and produce positive academic and behavioral results. The research approach includes both qualitative and quantitative methods. Initially, a systematic process derived from a model of evidence-based practice will be used to determine a locally-appropriate family-centered intervention for implementation in an educational context with a southern Oregon Latino population. After the selection of an appropriate family-centered intervention, a pilot randomized control trial will be employed to gather data on preliminary outcome measures, including intervention feasibility, fidelity, and effects of the intervention on parents and students. Finally, project results will be disseminated to key stakeholders and funding options for larger efficacy studies will be explored. Three outcomes will result from this project: (1) identification and selection of a locally-appropriate, evidence-based, family-centered intervention for use in a southern Oregon educational context with the Latino population; (2) pilot research to determine the feasibility, implementation fidelity, and initial program effects on student and parenting outcomes; and (3) dissemination of project results and exploration of options for funding intervention efficacy research.