Information on Engaging Parents in School Health for Parents with Children (Ages 4-11)

Little girl on her mom's back

Parent Engagement in School Health Fosters Healthy Students and Academic Success

What helps young people make healthy lifestyle choices, resist drugs and alcohol, avoid sexual risk behaviors, or succeed in school? The answers aren’t simple, and many factors are involved, including effective parenting, stable and healthy living conditions, and individual character traits (e.g., high self-esteem and positive and resilient temperament). Education and public health professionals are increasingly interested in examining these factors—often called protective factors—to understand which characteristics or situations are most likely to help teens make safer, healthier choices.

Parent engagement in schools, one of our promising protective factors, is defined as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents.[1,2]


  1. Epstein JL. School, Family, and Community Partnerships: Preparing Educators and Improving Schools Second Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press; 2011.
  2. National Family, School, and Community Engagement Working Group: Recommendations for Federal Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Family Research Project; 2009.
Page last reviewed: February 28, 2022