Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Linda Raffaele-Mendez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jenni Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mario Hernandez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carlos Zalaquett, Ph.D.


Culture, participatory action research, Parent Involvement, qualitative research


The present study aimed to investigate a locally-driven action research project to improve connections between Spanish-speaking Latinx parents and the high school that their children attend. Using Participatory Action Research (PAR), the study sought to create a collaborative research agenda that would empower the participants to study their own culture and practices at the school, and how the two combined to create a home-school partnership. Six parents and two members of the school’s bilingual staff comprised the PAR team, with a total of nine members including the principal investigator. The project began with the creation of a public sphere in which all members of the PAR team were encouraged to freely contribute to the design and implementation of the research project. Focus group recordings were reviewed and interpreted by two members of the PAR team in the original language of Spanish, and Spanish documents and resources were made to provide easy access to information requested by the team. In this study, I did not attempt to create generalizable knowledge about any culture. Results indicated that the parent participants’ priorities differed from those initially defined before recruitment, and that parents were comfortable enough to express differing views in the public sphere. The project was reported to be helpful to the parents, and the school administration agreed to incorporate the results of the project into a parent outreach project for the coming year. Implications for research and practice are discussed.