Date of Award:

2012

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Lori A. Roggman

Abstract

This study looked at father teaching interactions and singing in toddlerhood as predictors of child cognitive and language outcomes at prekindergarten in a low-income, ethnically diverse sample. Results found that, overall, father teaching interactions in toddlerhood predicted child cognitive and language outcomes at prekindergarten and father singing in toddlerhood predicted language outcomes. Fathers provided slightly more teaching interactions at child age 24 months than at 36 months, and sang more frequently at 36 months.

Within ethnic groups, father teaching interactions were statistically significant in predicting cognitive and language development outcomes for children of African American (approached significance for language outcomes) and European American fathers, but not for children of Latino American fathers. Father singing in toddlerhood approached significance for language outcomes at prekindergarten for children of European American and Latino American fathers, but not for children of African American fathers.

Overall, father behaviors were found to positively predict child outcomes, suggesting that fathers provide an independent additive contribution to children’s developmental skills that reflect school readiness. Independently of what mothers do, fathers play a unique role in child development and provide positive parent-child interactions that support children’s early development.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 20, 2012.

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