The purpose of this study was to understand Mexican immigrant mother's perceptions concerning parental involvement with their children's schools. It provides a perspective on cultural considerations relevant to the implementation of Epstein's model of parental involvement. Eight mothers, two documented and six undocumented, who had emigrated from Mexico and were living in rural Wyoming, were interviewed. The information provided by the participants included descriptions of practices the mothers considered meaningful when involved with their children's education. They shared their own experiences of their school attendance in Mexico and their own parents' involvement with their education. They also shared their understanding concerning parental involvement after having lived in the U.S. and after witnessing their children attend schools in this country. Although the participants in this study had their own understanding of parental participation, they are learning new practices in the U.S. Also, with culturally sensitive modifications, the types of parental involvement suggested by Epstein could also be implemented with the participants in this study. Additionally, in regard to participating in the schools, it was also found that not having documents to live in the U.S did not limit the participants from taking part in their children's schools. Based on the results of this research, school personnel have the potential to play an important role in helping increase Mexican parents' involvement with their children's education. Small and inexpensive variations on what schools are already doing could create a more inviting environment for these mothers. Recommendations are made to assist schools in this effort.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Hispanic parents, Hispanic education, Hispanic culture, parental involvement, immigrants, Mexican mothers, undocumented immigrants