Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Grant Smith, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Dinkins, Ph.D

Third Advisor

William Wells, Ed.D.


This dissertation examined the experiences of parents with criminal record history who want to participate in their child’s education. A convergent mixed methods design aided the researcher to quantitatively measure levels of involvement within a high poverty, urban elementary school with the Parent Survey of Family and Community Involvement in the Elementary and Middle Grades (Sheldon & Epstein, 2007) and qualitatively with an embedded case study (Yin, 2014) with parents (n=3) as embedded units of analysis. Participants in the case study had to navigate around a rejected volunteer background check and restrictive school district policy to be involved in the education of their student. Parental involvement was analyzed through Epstein’s (1995) deductive framework of six types of parental involvement. The study was bound by student enrollment in a high poverty, urban elementary school in the Southeastern region of the United States. Findings are presented in three themes to demonstrate how parents experience involvement despite criminal record history and navigating conditions of concentrated poverty.