Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Ehly, Stewart W

First Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy N

Second Committee Member

Liu, William M

Third Committee Member

Thomas, Volker K

Fourth Committee Member

Wesely, Pamela M


Since the 1960s homeschooling has increased in popularity across the United States. While homeschooling was deemed illegal in all 50 states, by 1993 homeschooling was legal in every state. As homeschooling was legalized, each state created its own ways of monitoring and supporting homeschooled students. In 1991 when the state of Iowa legalized homeschooling, the Iowa legislature created Home School Assistance Programs (HSAPs), which used public school funds to provide state-certified teachers to supervise homeschooled families.

The purpose of this study was to apply the theoretical model of the parental involvement process created by Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler (1995, 1997) to examine differences between parents who homeschooled within a HSAP and those who homeschooled in a different manner. Specifically, the study explored parental involvement, parents’ perceptions of their life context, parental self-efficacy, social-contextual motivators of involvement, and parents’ perceived invitations from their children. The study also investigated the extent to which HSAPs serve homeschooling parents and the viability of HSAPs as a means of serving homeschooling parents.

Findings suggest that there were no significant differences between parents who homeschool using a HSAP and those who do not in regard to any of the aforementioned categories. However, there was a significant difference in parental role activity beliefs based on the size of the HSAP in which a participant was involved, such that participants who were involved with a larger HSAP reported being more involved in their children’s education than parents involved with a small HSAP. No additional significant differences were found regarding the size of the HSAP or the geographic setting of the HSAP. Overall, the results of the study demonstrated that parents who homeschool are similar in parents’ motivational beliefs, perceptions of specific invitations from their children, perceived life context, and home-based involvement behaviors, regardless of their involvement with a HSAP.


home education, home school assistance programs, homeschooling, parental involvement


ix, 95 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 76-80).


Copyright 2016 Kirstin Dianne Miller Swenson