Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Alexandra A. Lauterbach

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Disability and Equity in Education | Educational Psychology


Insufficient parental support can cause English language learners (ELLs) with reading difficulties (RD) to drop out from school. Students with RD might result from genetic influences. Their parents who also have RD may be less involved in children's education. Understanding diverse parents' experiences can help promote their motivation of parent involvement. According to the previous studies, parent involvement is a major indicator of their children's academic achievements. Therefore, knowing the needs of ELL parents with RD can lead to identifying ways to support such parents, and eventually alleviate the national crisis of dropout rates for ELLs with/ without RD. However, no research has been done to examine how ELL parents perceive their own RD and relate these experiences to their children's learning to read. To address this research gap, I explored what experiences ELL parents with RD encounter during their parent involvement at home and school levels. I further investigated what support the ELL parents with RD will need for assisting them and their children to overcome their difficulties. This study was designed to understand the perceptions of ELL parents with RD, so educators would know how to help reduce the chances of ELL dropout rates and strengthen home-school collaboration to make diverse children succeed. Educators need to be aware of ELL parents' cultural experiences and the challenges they face. Schools should develop individualized programs for ELL parent involvement according to their diverse backgrounds, to facilitate interactive conversations between these parents and educators. It is critical to help ELL parents recognize that school personnel need to understand their family values and their children's disabilities, so home-school collaboration can be established to enhance children's learning.


Available for download on Saturday, May 13, 2023