Title

Fathers' and Mothers' involvements in sibling communication

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Early Childhood Research Quarterly

Volume

2

Issue

4

Publisher

Elsevier

Publication Date

1987

First Page

359

Last Page

365

DOI

10.1016/0885-2006(87)900021-4

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to measure fathers' and mothers' linguistic involvements with the development of communication between young siblings. In a laboratory setting, 39 two-child mother-father families were videotaped in semistructured activities. The older sibling was from 18 to 26-months-old (M=22.4 months, SD=2.5 months) and the younger sibling was from 4 to 8-weeks-old (M=5 weeks, SD =1.5 weeks). Regardless of type of vocalization, when only one parent was present, utterances encouraging sibling interactions were more often aimed at girls than at boys. As a result, such utterances occurred more when both siblings were girls than for any other gender combination. Fathers were more active in issuing such utterances, especially to girls. When both parents were present, gender differences between parents disappeared, although the effects of children's gender did not. Overall, the results suggest that fathers very actively direct sibling interactions, especially those involving girls.

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