School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Cristie J. McClendon


Parental involvement, military-connected, non-deployed parent, reserve component (RC) military deployment


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education


The purpose of this applied study was to solve the problem of limited parental involvement for military-connected students of reserve component (RC) military-connected families during periods of deployment at a small elementary school in rural Pennsylvania and to formulate a solution to address the problem. A multimethod design, consisting of both qualitative and quantitative approaches, was used. Five teachers who had a military-connected student, whose parent deployed while a student in their class participated in semistructured interviews. Five non-deployed parents and five teachers participated in a focus group. Fourteen teachers completed surveys. Inductive thematic analysis was used to analyze the interviews and focus groups and the survey questions were analyzed through summaries and percentages, depending on the wording. The themes derived from the qualitative analysis of the focus group were communication and information sharing, access to resources, expectations. The survey results supported a decrease in parent involvement during the deployment period, evidence of less frequent notes/email from parents during the deployment, and a lack of attendance at scheduled PTA meetings throughout the deployment period. The results of this study provided substantial information to inform the problem and provided the researcher with valuable data to develop a reasonable solution to solving the problem of limited parental involvement during deployment at Sunshine Elementary.