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The effects of fathers' and mothers' reading to their children on language outcomes of children participating in Early Head Start in the United States

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Abstract

It is well known that reading aloud affects children’s language and literacy development. Little is known though, about fathers reading to their children. This study examined paternal and maternal bookreading frequency among 430 low-income families and investigated whether paternal bookreading and maternal bookreading predicted children’s early language and cognitive development and emergent literacy skills. Results demonstrated that mothers read more frequently to their toddlers than fathers but approximately 55% of fathers reported reading at least weekly to their children. Paternal bookreading at 24 and 36 months significantly predicted children’s language and cognitive skills at age 36 months as well as their book knowledge at preK. Maternal bookreading was only a significant predictor of child cognitive skills at 36 months.

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... The findings of the reviewed articles (including reviews and meta-analyses), focusing in particular on the association between father involvement and children's cognitive skills, showed a positive and statistically significant association during early childhood (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004;McBride et al., 2005McBride et al., , 2009Roopnarine et al., 2006;Saracho, 2007b;Downer et al., 2008;Coley et al., 2011;Fagan and Lee, 2012;McWayne et al., 2013;Duursma, 2014;Jeynes, 2015;Kim and Hill, 2015;Baker, 2017Baker, , 2018 beyond mothers' parenting (Roopnarine et al., 2006). More specifically, Fagan and Lee (2012) argued that this relationship was significantly strengthened for children living in single-mother households, whereas Coley et al. (2011) found that family characteristics were trifling. ...
... In addition to the studies that specifically focused on the relationship between father involvement and children's outcomes, another great part of research aimed at comparing There are several programs, particularly aimed to specific population or more general, that can increase father involvement in children education maternal and paternal involvement in children's education. Most studies on this topic highlighted that, although the mean level of mothers' involvement was higher than fathers' (Duursma, 2014;Kim and Hill, 2015;Baker, 2018), fathers' involvement and children's academic skills had a positive association. For example, Keown and Palmer (2014) collected a sample of 94 two-parent families, with the aim of comparing father and mother involvement with their young son. ...
... Furthermore, Duursma (2014) examined the association between book-reading frequency of low-income fathers and mothers and children's cognitive and literacy skills and found ...
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This systematic review aims to examine the existing literature concerning the association between father involvement and the development children's cognitive skills during early and middle childhood. Specifically, it analyzes: (1) how the number of researches developed across years; (2) which are the main socio-demographic characteristics of the samples; (3) which are the main focuses examined; and (4) which operational definitions were used to assess father involvement and children cognitive skills. Following the guidelines of the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement, the articles were searched through PubMed and EBSCO (PsycInfo, PsycArticles, Education Source, Social Sciences Abstract, Family Studies Abstracts, Gender Studies Database and CINAHL complete). The findings suggest that, although each research used a different operational definition of the father involvement construct, in recent years there was a wide and constant interest increase about this issue. Most of the empirical studies utilized quantitative methods, whereas relatively few used qualitative and only one mixed methods. As regards the analysis of socio-demographic characteristics of the samples there is a great evidence that most of them included biological and residential fathers: it may reflect that this type of sample is easier to recruit than non-residential and non-biological fathers. Regarding the socio-economic status and the ethnicity of families, the data highlighted how in recent years the literature on father involvement is starting to look at differences in ethnic and cultural backgrounds, in contrast to past researches. The findings revealed that the main focus is the impact of father involvement on children's cognitive skills and the most of the studies highlighted that it is positive and statistically significant. Regarding to the assessment of father involvement and children's cognitive skills, the literature is quite heterogeneous
... In addition, the infant learns how to take the books in their hands and try to turn its pages. Hence, it can promote gross and fine motor coordination and also a love for reading 21 . When book reading is started in early months of life, a longer and more stable effect on child development will be observed 22 , as reported by Senechal and LeFevre 23 who found that parents should begin book reading to infants at the age of 4 months, since these children had better literacy skills at school age. ...
... According to the results of the current study, more than 68% of the parents had a university education, although in Shahshahani et al.'s 40 only 34% of parents had a university education. In the present study, there was a significant relationship between the number of books and the duration of ESR with parental education, while in this case Boyle and colleagues believed that educated mothers used better medical education recommendations 41 , while fathers with university education can provide a more sustainable financial and social environment for their children 21 . In addition, mother's level of education plays a facilitating role in the book reading of children and ECD 21 . ...
... Meanwhile, in the current study, 28.6% of the children had never been read to, while in other studies, this statistic was 4% in the UK 27 and 6-23% in the USA 21,43 . ...
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Background: Development is a process that continues from childhood to death, and most developmental changes occur during childhood. UNICEF introduced early storybook-reading (ESR) and storytelling as part of child care indicators. The aim of this study was to investigate the status of book-reading to children and its relationship with early childhood development in Iran. Methods: This is a descriptive-analytic study conducted in Tehran April-May 2017. In total, 272 mothers of children aged 3-30 months, who were referred to health centers, were selected using a convenience sampling method. Exclusion criteria was scoring below the cutoff point of any developmental domains of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). ESR was assessed by checklist and child development was assessed by the ASQ. Data were analyzed using SPSS. Results: The mean number of children’s books owned was 10.23±8.642, and 84.75% had at least 3 books. The average book reading, storytelling and singing duration for children was 10±9.65, 11.48±11.756, and 23.88 ±17.880 min per day, respectively. Average book reading, storytelling, and singing duration was significantly greater in children 18-30 months than <17 months. There was a significant relationship between the number of books and a child's age, mother's age, family income, income satisfaction, father's employment, and parents’ education. The score of communication domain in the ASQ questionnaire was significantly related to the number of books, duration of reading and storytelling, while problem-solving had a significant relationship only with the number of books (p˂0.05). Based on linear regression, child's age, income, and mother's and father's educational level were models for predicting the number of children's books (p=0.0001 for all). Conclusions: ESR was associated with some developmental domains of communication and problem-solving in the present study. Therefore, creation of ESR culture in Iranian families as an integral part of the life of children is necessary from birth.
... Book-reading has been extensively investigated in wider full-term infant populations, finding positive effects on parent-infant relationship [59,60], on functional brain connectivity [61,62], and especially on language development [63][64][65][66][67][68]. Positive benefits of book-reading interventions on linguistic skills were also observed in samples of preterm infants [69,70], although these studies assessed interventions implemented in the second year of infant life and did not consider the effects of early infant exposure to book-reading. ...
... The benefits of book-reading interventions on language development in full-term infants has been extensively investigated [63][64][65][66][67][68]. Conversely, prior to the present study, less attention has been devoted to the implementation of this intervention for preterm infants, despite the high risk for language delays that they face [8][9][10]. ...
... In line with our hypothesis, the decrease in language scores was found to be significantly lower in infants exposed to the book-reading intervention, who showed scores that were more stable and less inclined to decrease over time. This result, consistent with the literature on full term [63][64][65][66][67][68] and on preterm infants [69,70], supports the notion that book-reading interventions could be effective in improving cognitive development and preventing delays in language development in preterm infants. ...
Background: After preterm birth, infants are at high risk for delays in language development. A promising intervention to reduce this risk is represented by the exposure to parental voices through book-reading in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). This study investigated the possible advantages of book-reading to preterm neonates during their NICU stay on their subsequent language development. Methods: 100 families of preterm infants were recruited. The parents of 55 preterm infants (Reading Group) received a colored picture-book on NICU admission and were supported to read to their neonate as often as possible and to continue after hospital discharge. Forty-five infants (Control Group) were recruited before the beginning of the intervention. Infant language development was assessed with the Hearing and Language quotients of the Griffith Mental Development Scale at the corrected ages of 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months. Results: Regardless of group membership, Hearing and Language mean quotients decreased between 9 and 18 months; nevertheless, this decrease was considerably reduced in the Reading group, compared to the Control Group. Conclusions: Reading in NICUs represents a suitable intervention that could positively influence language development and parent-infant relationships in preterm children. The study findings support its implementation as a preventive measure.
... In contrast to the rich literature on maternal involvements, although there are several important papers on the paternal involvement, scant research has focused on the paternal involvement in his child's ECD. In general, according to the literature, fathers are less likely to be involved in their child's life than are mothers (Cabrera et al., 2007;Cook et al., 2011;Duursma, 2014;Lamb, 1997;Malin et al., 2014;Shannon et al., 2002;Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2004). The level of involvement of the father, however, changes as the child ages. ...
... Research on fathers in developed countries has shown that, when fathers do become involved in their child's development, there are positive associations between paternal involvement and child cognitive development, language development, and behavioral and emotional regulation (Cabrera et al., 2007;Duursma, 2014;Duursma et al., 2008;Fitzgerald & Bockneck, 2012;Lamb, 2004;Meuwissen & Carlson, 2015;Raikes et al., 2006;Rodriguez et al., 2009;Shears & Robinson, 2005). Cabrera et al. (2007) found that, in the United States, paternal involvement has a significant effect on a child's cognitive, language, and social-emotional development when the child is between 24 and 36 months old. ...
... Specifically, the data show that the overall level of paternal involvement is lower relative to that of the primary caregivers. In contrast to comparisons of the involvement of fathers in rural China versus fathers in other countries, as presented above, the finding that the involvement of the father is lower than that of the primary caregiver is consistent with a number of previous studies in the international literature Cook et al., 2011;Duursma, 2014;Lamb, 1997;Malin et al., 2014;Tamis-LeMonda et al., 2004). According to these studies, primary caregivers (most often, mothers of the children) read to and play more frequently with their children and do more caregiving activities than do fathers. ...
Article
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Research in developed countries has found that paternal involvement has positive and significant effects on early childhood development (ECD). Less is known, however, about the state of paternal involvement and its influence on ECD in rural China. Using data collected in Southern China that included 1,460 children aged 6–42 months and their fathers (as well as their primary caregivers), this study examines the association between paternal involvement and ECD. Although the results demonstrate that the average level of paternal involvement is low in rural China, paternal involvement is related to a significant increase in three domains of ECD (cognition, language, and social-emotional skills). Older children benefit significantly more than do younger children from paternal involvement in all domains of ECD. The results also show that, if the mother is the primary caregiver, the mother’s higher educational level and the family’s higher socioeconomic status are positively associated with paternal involvement.
... Also, disengaged and remote early father-infant interactions have independently predicted externalizing behaviors as early as one year old (Ramchandani et al., 2013). The book reading frequency of low-income fathers in an EHS study of 430 families predicted their child's book knowledge at 5 years old as well as their language and cognitive development at 3 years old (Duursma, 2014). Fathers in another EHS study engaged in more non-immediate talk (speech which is not directly reading the words or describing the pictures of the book) than mothers when reading a book with their child at ages 2, 3 and 5 years (Duursma & Pan, 2011). ...
... If a father is present, he is likely to be available and if he is available even if only for a moment, an opportunity exists for the home visitor to engage him. Qualitative studies of mothers and fathers show that, in general, fathers want to engage and mothers want them to be engaged in the visit (CFRP, 2013;2014). ...
... Clustering issues aside, father inclusion is a robust predictor of father engagement. This is supported by qualitative research where fathers and mothers both report if he is asked, invited or included, he will participate (CFRP, 2013;2014). If the home visitor asks the father or makes the effort to try to engage the father in home visit activities (a nature coding item seldom observed in our HVOF-R coding), then he is likely to engage. ...
Thesis
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In this dissertation, father participation in early childhood home visits was examined using observational data from 50 Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) home visits where a father figure was present for a visit with a mother receiving services and a target child two years old or younger. The sample included 34 different home visitors. Videos were coded using the HVOF-R and HOVRS A+ observational tools. Fathers were more present and available during home visits than previous research indicates (Holmberg & Olds, 2015; McBride & Peterson, 1997; Raikes, Summers & Roggman, 2005). A father-figure was present in 25.1% of the initial home visit videos with a mother recorded for the state-led MIECHV evaluation. When fathers were home during the visit, they were available for 76.4% of parent-involved home visit activities. Average father engagement when he was available was 3.5 on a 1 to 7 scale. When available, fathers were included in parent-involved home visit activities by the home visitor an average of 42.5% of the time. Roggman, Boyce and Innocenti’s (2008) developmental parenting approach for early childhood practitioners and Korfmacher et al’s (2008) model for influences on parent involvement in early childhood home visiting were used as a conceptual framework. No home visitor practices were significantly related to father availability. Home visitor inclusion of the father was the only home visitor practice in this study significantly predictive of his engagement. Father engagement increased .053 (p < .01) for each percent increase of father inclusive practices by the home visitor. In addition, father inclusive practices explained a significant proportion of variance in father engagement, R² = .702, F(1, 48) = 112.43, p < .001. The home visitor having a social science degree resulted in an increase in father inclusive practices by 14.50% (p < .05).
... For example, caregiver engagement may ignite children's motivation to re-process messages and visuals from media content. Scholars have examined parents' influence on children's reading and literacy development (e.g., Duursma, 2014;Haden et al., 1996;Heath, 1982). For example, previous studies showed that parents' reading styles, comments or vocabulary input were cited as important factors for building literacy in their children. ...
... For example, previous studies showed that parents' reading styles, comments or vocabulary input were cited as important factors for building literacy in their children. Duursma (2014) found that paternal book-reading sparks cognitively challenging and imaginative discussions with children. Heath (1982) explored three types of maternal nonimmediate talk, which extend child-parent conversations beyond the information perceptually presented in books. ...
Article
Caregivers manage pre-school children’s media choices; however, most research has examined electronic and digital media, while books remain the predominant medium for this age group. We explore how caregivers perceive and mediate children’s books, with an emphasis on those portraying popular media characters, through two qualitative studies. Through non-participant observation at the public library, we capture how caregivers and children negotiate and choose books. While a few caregivers employed restrictive mediation, most valued children’s book choices, irrespective of content. Our interview study of parents largely supports the findings of our observation study. Some parents revealed their concerns about age-inappropriate or problematic characters and passively avoided the books with those characters. However, parents primarily respected their children’s book preferences. The ways in which caregivers shape their children’s media and book reading are discussed.
... While most studies that examine reading in early childhood concentrate on mothers, some studies have looked at fathers reading to their infants (Durrsma, Pan & Raikes, 2008;Swain, Cara & Mallows, 2017), and research suggests that fathers contribute in a unique way to their child's language development (Malin, Cabrera & Rowe, 2014). For instance, a study by Duursma (2014) that examined paternal and maternal book reading frequency among 430 low-income families, found that paternal book reading at child ages 24 and 36 months was a significant predictor of child language and cognitive skills and book knowledge. Likewise, Baker (2014) suggests that 3 to 5 year olds whose dads read and talk to them a lot behave and concentrate better at nursery, and also do better in mathematics. ...
... With regard to the home literacy environment, studies have also focussed on socioeconomic context (SES) indicating that social backgrounds matter, particularly in terms of children's early experiences with language and literacy (Hart & Risley, 1995;Melhuish, 2010;Tarelli & Stubbe, 2010;Hartas, 2011;Duursma, 2014). In particular, it has been noted that 'socio-economic disadvantage, lack of maternal educational qualifications…remained powerful in influencing competencies in children aged three and at the start of primary school' (Hartas, 2011). ...
Article
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Reading books with infants has many positive associations with child development. However, the age at which parents begin reading with their infants, and the frequency that they read with them, is affected by many factors. This paper considers some of those factors and examines the role baby book gifting programmes may play in supporting early shared reading practices in families. Drawing on evidence from international and local schemes in Ireland it provides insights into the benefits and challenges of running a book-gifting programme. The factors that support or hinder the success of any such initiative may therefore be useful to policy makers, local organisations and communities in establishing, implementing and monitoring such a scheme.
... While most studies that examine reading in early childhood concentrate on mothers, some studies have looked at fathers reading to their infants (Durrsma, Pan & Raikes, 2008;Swain, Cara & Mallows, 2017), and research suggests that fathers contribute in a unique way to their child's language development (Malin, Cabrera & Rowe, 2014). For instance, a study by Duursma (2014) that examined paternal and maternal book reading frequency among 430 low-income families, found that paternal book reading at child ages 24 and 36 months was a significant predictor of child language and cognitive skills and book knowledge. Likewise, Baker (2014) suggests that 3 to 5 year olds whose fathers read and talk to them regularly behave and concentrate better at nursery, and do better in mathematics. ...
... With regard to the home literacy environment, studies have also focussed on socioeconomic context (SES), indicating that social backgrounds matter, particularly in terms of children's early experiences with language and literacy (Hart & Risley, 1995;Melhuish, 2010;Tarelli & Stubbe, 2010;Hartas, 2011;Duursma, 2014). In particular, it has been noted that 'socio-economic disadvantage, lack of maternal educational qualifications…remained powerful in influencing competencies in children aged three and at the start of primary school' (Hartas, 2011). ...
... Relationships with young children are often female dominated and it is noted that women will read and talk to their children at home. However Clarke (2009) and Duursma, (2014) acknowledge the importance of Fathers and men in a child's learning and development. ...
... It is remarkable that paternal book reading, not maternal book reading, is often the predicted of a higher level of story comprehension, book knowledge and language skills among children. Gleason (1975) and Bernstein-Ratner (1988) reported that fathers used more complex language than mothers when interacting with their children (Bernstein-Ratner, 1988;Gleason, 1975in Duursma 2014. ...
Article
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This is a joint research project between London Early Years Foundation and the University of Wolverhampton. We asked How do children perceive male practitioners? How do children characterise their relationship with the male practitioners ? Do children consistently choose staff they like for the activities they do well rather than the associate gender connection. ( For example choosing a woman to play football because she is really good rather than a man)? This research is mainly qualitative and based in a sociocultural perspective. The methods are participatory and are based on praxeological values by involving teachers as research partners. Key findings are: Children need high quality teachers, male and female, who are ‘good at’ activities. Children associate fun activities with the person not the gender (balance) Where males are visible in the setting, seen to be engaging in all activities and, not just as ‘a novelty event’ children did not associate the activity with the gender There can be a tendency in some areas to fall back on gender stereotypes when staff or children faced with activities that are not a favourite or are unpleasant.
... In addition to Samuelsson et al. (2007) there is strong international evidence, spanning many decades, that shows that adult-child shared reading is beneficial for young children's learning and development. Past studies have attributed adult-child shared book reading to improvements in young children's: (1) oral language proficiencies and cognitive understandings (Cheng & Tsai, 2014;Duursma, 2014;Karrass & Braungart-Rieker, 2005;Mol & Bus, 2011;Phillips, Norris, & Anderson, 2008); (2) vocabulary knowledge (Bracken & Fischel, 2008;Hindman et al., 2014;Mol et al., 2008;Read & Quirke, 2018;Sénéchal et al., 2008;Trivette et al., 2010;Wood, 2002); (3) concepts about print, knowledge of story and literary register (Bracken & Fischel, 2008;Duursma, 2014;Flack et al., 2018;Phillips et al., 2008); ...
... In addition to Samuelsson et al. (2007) there is strong international evidence, spanning many decades, that shows that adult-child shared reading is beneficial for young children's learning and development. Past studies have attributed adult-child shared book reading to improvements in young children's: (1) oral language proficiencies and cognitive understandings (Cheng & Tsai, 2014;Duursma, 2014;Karrass & Braungart-Rieker, 2005;Mol & Bus, 2011;Phillips, Norris, & Anderson, 2008); (2) vocabulary knowledge (Bracken & Fischel, 2008;Hindman et al., 2014;Mol et al., 2008;Read & Quirke, 2018;Sénéchal et al., 2008;Trivette et al., 2010;Wood, 2002); (3) concepts about print, knowledge of story and literary register (Bracken & Fischel, 2008;Duursma, 2014;Flack et al., 2018;Phillips et al., 2008); ...
Thesis
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This study explored mothers’ behaviours when shared reading printed and electronic texts with young children. Specifically, this study used a Vygotskianinformed framework, based primarily upon Vygotsky’s (1987, 2012) theory of concept development, to analyse the verbal and non-verbal communication behaviours of 11 mothers when reading simple and complex narratives with their two-year-old child. Mothers’ views were also sought, as they related to the practice of shared reading with their child. Data was collected using questionnaires and video. Video collected three forms of data: (1) Event One: mother-child shared reading experiences [X4 for each dyad]; (2)Event Two: post-experience interviews immediately following each shared reading experience [X4 for each mother]; and (3) Event Three: a video-stimulated interview during which time mothers viewed the four videos from Event One in full. Findings showed that mothers competed for their child’s attention, working against external distractions when reading printed texts and working against embedded distractions when reading electronic texts. Mothers also displayed a range of behaviours according to the text’s medium (printed or electronic), and complexity of text (whether printed or electronic). This study has shown that the inclusion of mothers’ views, within a Vygotskian framework that acknowledged five forms of mediation (social, spoken, anatomical, instrumental-tool and individual mediation), can facilitate in-depth investigations that explore the what, how and why of adult-child shared reading practices.
... While most studies that examine reading in early childhood concentrate on mothers, some studies have looked at fathers reading to their infants (Durrsma, Pan & Raikes, 2008;Swain, Cara & Mallows, 2017), and research suggests that fathers contribute in a unique way to their child's language development (Malin, Cabrera & Rowe, 2014). For instance, a study by Duursma (2014) that examined paternal and maternal book reading frequency among 430 low-income families, found that paternal book reading at child ages 24 and 36 months was a significant predictor of child language and cognitive skills and book knowledge. Likewise, Baker (2014) suggests that 3 to 5 year olds whose fathers read and talk to them regularly behave and concentrate better at nursery, and do better in mathematics. ...
... With regard to the home literacy environment, studies have also focussed on socioeconomic context (SES), indicating that social backgrounds matter, particularly in terms of children's early experiences with language and literacy (Hart & Risley, 1995;Melhuish, 2010;Tarelli & Stubbe, 2010;Hartas, 2011;Duursma, 2014). In particular, it has been noted that 'socio-economic disadvantage, lack of maternal educational qualifications…remained powerful in influencing competencies in children aged three and at the start of primary school' (Hartas, 2011). ...
... While most studies that examine reading in early childhood concentrate on mothers, some studies have looked at fathers reading to their infants (Durrsma, Pan & Raikes, 2008;Swain, Cara & Mallows, 2017), and research suggests that fathers contribute in a unique way to their child's language development (Malin, Cabrera & Rowe, 2014). For instance, a study by Duursma (2014) that examined paternal and maternal book reading frequency among 430 low-income families, found that paternal book reading at child ages 24 and 36 months was a significant predictor of child language and cognitive skills and book knowledge. Likewise, Baker (2014) suggests that 3 to 5 year olds whose fathers read and talk to them regularly behave and concentrate better at nursery, and do better in mathematics. ...
... With regard to the home literacy environment, studies have also focussed on socioeconomic context (SES), indicating that social backgrounds matter, particularly in terms of children's early experiences with language and literacy (Hart & Risley, 1995;Melhuish, 2010;Tarelli & Stubbe, 2010;Hartas, 2011;Duursma, 2014). In particular, it has been noted that 'socio-economic disadvantage, lack of maternal educational qualifications…remained powerful in influencing competencies in children aged three and at the start of primary school' (Hartas, 2011). ...
... Relationships with young children are often female dominated and it is noted that women will read and talk to their children at home. However Clarke (2009) and Duursma, (2014) acknowledge the importance of Fathers and men in a child's learning and development. ...
... It is remarkable that paternal book reading, not maternal book reading, is often the predicted of a higher level of story comprehension, book knowledge and language skills among children. Gleason (1975) and Bernstein-Ratner (1988) reported that fathers used more complex language than mothers when interacting with their children (Bernstein-Ratner, 1988;Gleason, 1975in Duursma 2014. ...
Article
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As educators we have a socio-cultural responsibility to provide children with the best possible life chances uninhibited by old fashioned gender stereotypes. To this end we need to be aware of how we use the word ‘Gender’, as It assumes a shared set of characteristics and attributes which are masculine and feminine. This is not the 21st century reality England. It’s not just about gender, but how we use this debate to consider all as- pects of inclusivity and children’s awareness of this. Children need to see our diverse society re- flected in their nurseries.
... Shared book reading allows the child to develop his/her vocabulary since the words used in the written language are generally more complex than the oral language used by adults. Also, this activity allows the use of decontextualized language which is the language that it is used to communicate information to a person with little experience on the topic of discussion (Duursma 2014). ...
... The quantity and the quality of the hours that a father spends reading to his children positively relates to his children's levels of language learning (Duursma 2014). A father reading to his children shows a positive correlation to the child's cognitive and academic skills in general. ...
Book
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This aim of this open access book is to launch an international, cross-disciplinary conversation on fatherhood engagement. By integrating perspective from three sectors—Health, Social Policy, and Work in Organizations—the book offers a novel perspective on the benefits of engaged fatherhood for men, for families, and for gender equality. The chapters are crafted to engaged broad audiences, including policy makers and organizational leaders, healthcare practitioners and fellow scholars, as well as families and their loved ones.
... However, recent studies on paternal language have shown that fathers also contribute to their children's language development (e.g. Tamis-LeMonda, Shannon, Cabrera, & Lamb, 2004;Duursma, Pan, & Raikes, 2008;Pancsofar & Vernon-Feagans, 2006, 2010Pancsofar et al., 2013;Duursma, 2014). ...
... Studies on shared book reading found that parents who have a better education demonstrate better literacy skills. Thus, these studies showed that parents' socioeconomic backgrounds have an impact on the emergent literacy skills of their children (Raikes et al., 2006;Duursma, Pan, & Raikes, 2008;Duursma, 2014). ...
... Children in the low cognitive stimulation class struggled across the socioemotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains of development, showing higher levels of father-and mother-reported behavior problems and lower levels of socioemotional and cognitive functioning compared to the other three groups. These findings are consistent with the broader literature that report the positive association between fathers' cognitive stimulation (e.g., stimulating parenting, reading books to children, fathers' home literacy involvement) and children's healthy development during early childhood [21,[60][61][62]. While much of the prior work documented the impact of cognitive stimulation on children's cognitive development, such as verbal ability, language outcomes, and academic skills [3,61,63], our findings suggest that the positive influence of paternal cognitive stimulation expands beyond cognitive development into other domains of child development, such as socioemotional and behavioral functioning. ...
... These findings are consistent with the broader literature that report the positive association between fathers' cognitive stimulation (e.g., stimulating parenting, reading books to children, fathers' home literacy involvement) and children's healthy development during early childhood [21,[60][61][62]. While much of the prior work documented the impact of cognitive stimulation on children's cognitive development, such as verbal ability, language outcomes, and academic skills [3,61,63], our findings suggest that the positive influence of paternal cognitive stimulation expands beyond cognitive development into other domains of child development, such as socioemotional and behavioral functioning. ...
Article
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This study examined patterns of father involvement and their relations with social, behavioral, and cognitive development among low-income children < 5 years. Latent class analysis on data from 2650 fathers (Mage = 29.35 years) in the Supporting Healthy Marriages program revealed four father involvement patterns: (1) High positive involvement (48%); (2) engaged but harsh discipline (42%); (3) low cognitive stimulation (8%); and (4) lower involvement (2%). The low cognitive stimulation pattern was associated with greater father- and mother-reported child behavior problems and lower child socioemotional and cognitive functioning. The engaged but harsh discipline pattern was associated with more father-reported child behavior problems. These findings highlight the need for active engagement of fathers in parenting interventions to promote child development.
... Shared book reading allows the child to develop his/her vocabulary since the words used in the written language are generally more complex than the oral language used by adults. Also, this activity allows the use of decontextualized language which is the language that it is used to communicate information to a person with little experience on the topic of discussion (Duursma 2014). ...
... The quantity and the quality of the hours that a father spends reading to his children positively relates to his children's levels of language learning (Duursma 2014). A father reading to his children shows a positive correlation to the child's cognitive and academic skills in general. ...
Chapter
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Parenting is challenging in today’s world. Dual careers, hyper-connectivity, and long distances take almost all our time, and parents must integrate their different roles. A direct impact of this hectic life is on the time parents spend with their children. Additionally, the role of fathers has gained importance, and it is important to understand his influence. In this chapter we will analyze the importance of the time fathers spend in positive engagement activities with their children, such as eating and reading with their children, and also how organizations, through their managers, can promote these positive engagement activities. Also, to show how context influences this relationship, we compare different countries in Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
... According to these responses, fathers read books to their children at home with less frequency than their mothers. Yet it has been stated that in the language, literacy and cognitive development of children at an early age, the most effective elements are the commencement of reading to them at an early age and the continuation of this (Duursma, 2014). In studies carried out in USA, it has been shown that reading to children by parents, especially the vocabulary used by fathers while reading, significantly affects children's linguistic development (Duursma, Pan, & Raikes, 2008;Pancsofar et al., 2010as cited in Duursma, 2014. ...
... Finally, many studies have only included mothers. Of studies that have looked at paternal language, some studies have reported that fathers may be more interactive and use more complex language than mothers when talking to children (Duursma, 2014), but other studies have found similar or only subtly different interactional styles between mothers and fathers (Flack et al., 2018). Therefore, both mothers and fathers were included in the current study as both parents are important contributors to a child's development. ...
Article
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This study examines the content and function of parent-child talk while engaging in shared storybook reading with two narrative books: a wordless book versus a book with text. Thirty-six parents audio-recorded themselves reading one of the books at home with their 3.5-5.5-year-old children. Pragmatic and linguistic measures of parental and child talk during both narrative storytelling and dialogic interactions were compared between the wordless and book-with-text conditions. The results show that the wordless book engendered more interaction than the book-with-text, with a higher rate of parental prompts and responsive feedback, and significantly more child contributions, although lexical diversity and grammatical complexity of parental language were higher during narration using a book-with-text. The findings contribute to research on shared storybook reading suggesting that different book formats can promote qualitatively different language learning environments.
... Non-linguistic factors such as language exposure, family SES status, and parents' education background have been examined and found to be correlated to children's vocabulary use (e.g. Dixon et al., 2012;Duursma, 2014;Huttenlocher et al., 1991). Linguistic characteristics such as the polysemous nature of a word, the relationship with its near-synonyms may also affect children's acquisition of a particular lexical item (e.g. ...
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The Chinese verb “dǎ” is a polysemous and frequently used verb. Studies have shown that it is one of the earliest verbs acquired by monolingual children by the age of five year old, they can use most of the commonly used senses in their daily life. But whether it is an easy task for bilingual children to acquire and use the verb in different contexts is unknown. Our study investigated the usage pattern of “dǎ” by 30 Chinese-English bilingual preschool children in Singapore. Visual stimuli depicting “dǎ” actions were used to elicit descriptions from the participants. The results reveal that the meaning representations of “dǎ” in the semantic domains such as “social interaction” and “physical punishment” are most commonly used by the children while the meaning representations of “dǎ” in the semantic domains such as “fastening” and “possession” are the least used by the children. This paper will discuss the factors that affect the children’s use of the polysemous verb.
... Their main approach is to make first contact with parents at the hospital before the baby even goes home. By giving books to all new parents, with a focus on fathers, and talking to them about benefits of reading, we increase the likelihood of fathers reading to their children throughout their lives (Duursma, 2014). ...
Research
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Over the past two decades, policymakers, international organizations, and scholars focusing on gender and education have largely concentrated their efforts on issues relating to girls (The World Bank, 2013; King & Winthrop, 2015). However, results from recent international assessments, coupled with data on higher education enrolment rates, have led to a new concern about the performance and retention of males - particularly, those from low socioeconomic backgrounds (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD, 2015a]; Fryer & Levitt, 2010). In the Middle East and the Caribbean, girls have been outperforming boys for many years, but this phenomenon has received little attention at the global level (Ridge, 2014; United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, 2011). However, as nations across Europe and other parts of the world also begin to face a decline in the relative achievement and retention of males, there has been an increase in attention paid to the academic outcomes of boys, both domestically and globally.
... V zahraničí je tento model velice rozšířen a má vysokou výpovědní hodnotu. V zahraničí je ovšem k dispozici velké množství standardizovaných nástrojů na diagnostikování posunů ve vývoji charakteristik dítěte souvisejících s pregramotností, které výzkum bohatě využívá (De Jong & Leseman, 2001;Sènèchal & LeFevre, 2003;Roberts, Jurgens, & Burchinal, 2005;Sènèchal, 2006;Hindman & Morrison, 2012;Duursma, 2014a). ...
Article
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Tato empirická studie popisuje situaci čtení dětem v rodině. Cílem bylo zjistit důvody, proč rodiče dětem čtou, frekvenční parametry čtení a čtenářských praktik rodičů a dětí. Výzkumný soubor tvořilo 240 respondentů – rodičů, jejichž děti navštěvovaly mateřskou školu. Výzkumným nástrojem byl dotazník s 52 položkami agregovanými do 17 proměnných. Zjištěné základní parametry čtení dětem jsou vesměs příznivé. Většina zkoumaných rodičů čte dětem frekventovaně, dostatečně dlouho a číst začala v průměru před druhým rokem věku dítěte. Děti ve velké většině zkoumaných rodin vlastnily 30 nebo více knih. Byly zjištěny silné rozvojové a emocionální důvody pro dítě. Rodiče při čtení facilitují porozumění, podporují uvažování o postavách příběhu a stimulují dítě k vlastní naraci obsahu. Slabší je podpora pregramotných činností, tedy aktivit s písmeny, slovy a čísly. Specifický aspekt této studie spočíval v nahlížení na dítě z hlediska aktérství, tedy dítětem iniciovaného a realizovaného konání. Děti z tohoto výzkumného souboru projevovaly o čtení dosti velký zájem, v dyádě čtení se chovaly proaktivně, produkovaly vlastní verze příběhů a své rodiče při čtení monitorovaly.
... Some research on father involvement with children before formal schooling indicates that fathers are actively involved in supporting children's literacy development, such as by reading to them. To demonstrate, Morgan, Nutbrown, and Hannon (2009) reported that fathers of preschoolers were active in reading to their children, and Duursma (2014) found that paternal bookreading with children in Head Start was a significant predictor of children's story comprehension, cognitive development, and language skills. ...
Article
Father involvement in children’s education is known to have increased over the years, yet less is known about their involvement with children outside of school, particularly after children attend formal schooling. Such information could provide more knowledge of children’s literacy engagement in schools as well as have implications for future teaching practice. Another goal was to gain insight on fathers’ recommendations for schools in order to assist student learning. There were 13 fathers from culturally diverse backgrounds who volunteered for a 30–40 minute interview. Three themes were found: (1) shared father–child interests and practice, (2) importance of student interest and choice in school, and (3) student writing difficulties and self-concept issues. Following father interviews, teachers were invited for a short interview in order to gather knowledge on their perspectives on student engagement and literacy teaching and learning. Two Grade 2 teachers consented, and two themes were revealed: (1) children’s motivation for reading and writing in school and (2) teacher knowledge of father–child interactions. Following father and teacher theme comparisons, recommendations were suggested for both home and in-school learning. Considering the deficiency in current knowledge of fathers’ practices and perspectives, this research offers further insight on father interactions with children and their perspectives for school learning.
... However, due to the transformation of the social class system (i.e., the higher participation of women in the workforce) and changes in the family structure, the boundaries between working fathers and caregiving mothers have become blurred (Huang, Sun, & Tang, 2021) . Thus, more research attention has been paid to fatherchild interactions in recent years, and the relationship has been reported to uniquely affect children's cognition and literacy development across cultures ( Backer et al., 2013 ;Duursma, 2014 ). For instance, the unique influence of fatherly involvement on cognitive and language development in 2-and 3-year-old American children has been supported (e.g., ( Cabrera, Fitzgerald, Bradley, & Roggman, 2007;Tamis-LeMonda, Shannon, Cabrera, & Lamb, 2004 ). ...
Article
Drawing on the theory underlying the home literacy model (HLM), we examined the relationships among distinct aspects of the home literacy environment (HLE), a wide range of cognitive-linguistic skills, and Chinese language and literacy skills in this study. A total of 354 Chinese children (mean age: 60.37 ± 7.25 months; 186 boys, 52.5%) from 6 Hong Kong kindergartens, as well as their fathers and mothers, were enrolled. The mothers and fathers were invited to independently complete a questionnaire inquiring into the formal and informal HLE, parental expectations, children's access to literacy resources, and family socioeconomic status (SES). Children were assessed on a set of cognitive-linguistic skills (executive functioning, phonological awareness, RAN, and orthographic awareness), receptive vocabulary, and word reading ability. The results revealed that the mothers reported more frequent engagement in the formal and informal HLE than the fathers, but both mothers and fathers held equally high expectations for their child's reading achievement. Moreover, family SES emerged as a robust predictor of children's cognitive-linguistic skills, which in turn contributed to vocabulary and word reading. Although the maternal formal and informal HLE was not of notable importance to Chinese language and literacy skill acquisition, the paternal formal HLE exerted a unique effect on vocabulary and word reading through RAN. These findings extend HLM knowledge pertaining to the Chinese orthography and highlight the independent roles of fathers and mothers in promoting children's language and literacy development.
... SD = 6.58) and their 4-to 7-year-old children (M = 5.56, SD = 1.15; 53.6% female). We only recruited mothers (rather than fathers) because mothers are more likely than fathers to read aloud to their children (Duursma, 2014). Most mothers indicated that they were White (82.4%), while the remainder indicated that they were multiracial (15.2%), ...
Article
While visiting a science museum, mothers (N = 125) and their 4- to 7-year-old children were recruited to read one of four versions of an educational storybook. These storybooks detailed either male-dominated careers (i.e., STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) or female-dominated careers (i.e., HEED: health, early education, and domestic roles), and they featured either a male protagonist or a female protagonist. Results indicated that the STEM storybook led mothers to perceive STEM careers as more suitable for their children, and it led girls to express more interest in STEM careers. However, there was some indication that mothers directed more discouraging comments toward their children (e.g., “You don’t like that”) while reading the HEED storybook, especially when it featured a male protagonist. This version also led boys to express less interest in HEED careers. These results suggest that exposure to stories with stereotype-defying characters can benefit girls, yet sometimes backfire among boys. Given the context of the study (i.e., a science museum), it remains possible that these results only apply to children from relatively advantaged backgrounds (i.e., higher family income and education). Accordingly, future research will need to examine whether these results differ among children from less advantaged backgrounds.
... In the context of adult-child shared reading practice, this often facilitates children's exposure to more complex language and language features than are typically encountered during everyday talk (Senechal, 2011). As such, shared reading has been reported as an ideal context for supporting young children to develop their language (Bus et al., 1995;Duursma, 2014;Raikes et al., 2006), as it is a collaborative practice and an ideal platform to invite children to actively participate in conversations. ...
Article
This paper investigates mothers’ views regarding the purpose of shared reading with their two-year-old children, confidence in using printed and electronic texts, and self-reported practice, framed around a focus on mothers’ motivation to engage in shared reading with their children. Research into adult–child shared reading experiences has traditionally focused on early reading behaviours and talk patterns captured in video data, reporting on the literacy or cognitive benefits of these experiences as viewed by researchers. Parent contributions have typically been sought to provide background information such as parent education, frequency of home reading and socio-economic factors. There is limited research that invites parents' voices. Findings from this study have been drawn from quantitative and qualitative data, collected from questionnaires and individual interviews with 12 reading-proficient mothers of two-year-old children in Victoria, Australia. Findings show that mothers acknowledged the educational affordances of shared reading, and the love of reading that the practice invites. Self-reported practices and confidence levels showed a strong preference for using printed picture storybooks as part of a bedtime routine, and that access to electronic texts does not necessarily equate to the same guided engagement with electronic texts as with printed texts.
... Our results build on the growing research literature showing that fathers' reading is associated with improved language development in low-income preschool-age children (e.g. Duursma, 2014). Paternal reading to children is likely to expose children to new vocabulary words and to complex forms of language that may not be used in fathers' everyday conversation. ...
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This study examined the associations among child language competence during father–child play interactions, fathers’ time spent volunteering in their preschool-age child's Head Start classroom over the course of one school year, amount of father play and reading to the child at home, and fathers’ positive control during play. The sample of 68 primarily African-American and Hispanic low-income fathers were videotaped interacting normally with their children during two equal length activities: a free play situation with farm toys and a more ‘academic-like’ situation with wordless picture books and puzzles. These videotaped language samples were obtained at the beginning and end of the school year. The findings showed a significant positive association between child language competence at the end of the school year and fathers’ reading to the child. Fathers’ positive control behaviour during play was negatively associated with child language.
Article
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The positive effects of shared book reading on vocabulary and reading development are well attested (e.g., Bus, van Ijzendoorn, & Pellegrini, 1995). However, the role of shared book reading in grammatical development remains unclear. In this study, we conducted a construction-based analysis of caregivers’ child-directed speech during shared book reading and toy play and compared the grammatical profile of the child-directed speech generated during the two activities. The findings indicate that (a) the child-directed speech generated by shared book reading contains significantly more grammatically rich constructions than child-directed speech generated by toy play, and (b) the grammatical profile of the book itself affects the grammatical profile of the child-directed speech generated by shared book reading.
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The present study investigates whether the effect of fathers’ positive engagement on young children’s cognitive development is accentuated when one or both dual-earner parents is employed during nonstandard hours. Longitudinal regression models are fitted to three waves of nationally representative data from the Early Child Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort. Father engagement when children are nine months old has an especially positive effect on children’s cognitive ability at age two when the father works during the day and the mother has a fixed evening or night shift. There are no interactions between shift work and engagement at age two in the whole sample, but subgroup analyses show that engagement has an especially strong effect on children who have a non-parent caregiver if both parents are shift workers. The results highlight the important role fathers play in couples with a shift worker, and provide a rationale for efforts to encourage and support their involvement.
Article
Bookreading is known to benefit young children’s language and literacy development. However, research has demonstrated that how adults interact around a book with a child is probably even more important than reading the complete text. Dialogic or interactive reading strategies can promote children’s language development more specifically. Little is known about how fathers engage in bookreading with their children. This study examined the differences and similarities in interaction style during bookreading among low-income fathers and mothers in the US at child ages two and three, in particular focusing on immediate and non-immediate talk. Results demonstrated that fathers used more non-immediate talk, or talk not directly related to the book, than mothers did, at both child ages. Fathers also used more engagement strategies than mothers did.
Article
Research Findings: Positive parenting is widely recommended as a viable mechanism for boosting children’s early cognitive skills across the world. Drawing on data from the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Surveys, associations were determined between maternal, paternal, and other household members’ engagement in play, book reading, and storytelling and children’s early literacy skills in Kenya. The sample consisted of 990 mother-father pairs, household members, and preschool-aged children from three rural counties in Kenya. Maternal book reading was associated with children’s ability to read words. Paternal book reading was associated with children’s ability to identify letters and read words and paternal engagement in play was associated with children’s ability to identify letters. Other household members’ engagement in book reading was associated with children’s ability to read words and recognize symbols. Number of books in the home, enrollment in preschool education, household wealth, maternal education, and fathers’ residential status were variously associated with children’s literacy skills. Practice or Policy: These findings suggest the relative contribution of book reading versus play and storytelling by mothers, fathers and allocaregivers in advancing children’s early literacy skills development in the Kenyan cultural context.
Article
Using the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys, this study assessed the associations between fathers’ cognitive engagement and preschoolers’ literacy skills in African Caribbean, Indo-Caribbean, and mixed-ethnic Caribbean families in Trinidad and Tobago. The sample consisted of 476 fathers and their preschool-aged children. Multigroup structural equation modeling indicated that paternal cognitive engagement was associated with children’s literacy skills in mixed-ethnic Caribbean and Indo-Caribbean families above and beyond maternal cognitive engagement activities. Across all groups, children’s age, number of hours in preschool, and number of children’s books in the home were associated with children’s literacy skills. Fathers’ residential status was associated with children’s literacy skills differently across ethnic groups. Findings are interpreted in terms of the importance and consistency of paternal engagement in the home environment for the acquisition of early language skills in developing countries.
Article
Shared book‐reading (SBR) has long been thought of as a way to improve language skills in children, but the specifics of SBR practices have been studied less often, especially with fathers. This study used interaction analysis—a qualitative methodology that examines the participants' discourse, actions, and surroundings together—to examine videos of nine predominantly Hispanic fathers as they engaged in SBR with their infants and toddlers (aged 9–35 months) using a developmentally appropriate book offered in both English and Spanish. Analyses examined the discourse strategies fathers used during SBR, how fathers physically supported joint attention, and how discourse was supported through physical reading configurations, conjoined speech, and movement practices. Findings illustrate how interaction analysis allows for additional information of fathers' and children's SBR practices to be examined in future studies. This study suggests that more holistic assessments of infants' and toddlers' communicative behaviors and language should be used when interacting with fathers and their young children.
Article
Objectives Little is known about associations between different forms of discipline and children’s literacy, social skills, and behavior in low- and middle-income countries. This study examined maternal use of physical discipline, harsh physical discipline, psychological aggression, and nonphysical discipline and their relative associations with preschool-aged children’s social and literacy skills and behavioral difficulty in 25 diverse African countries. We also explored whether belief in physical discipline and sociodemographic factors moderate the associations between different forms of discipline and childhood outcomes. Methods The participants were 32,817 biological mothers and their preschool-aged children from the UNICEF Multiple indicator Cluster Surveys. Information regarding belief in and use of physical and nonphysical forms of discipline and children’s social and literacy skills and behavioral difficulty were obtained via questionnaires obtained from mothers in each household. Results Psychological aggression was negatively, and nonphysical discipline positively associated with children’s literacy skills. Harsh physical discipline, physical discipline, and psychological aggression were positively, and nonphysical discipline negatively associated with behavioral difficulty in children. Psychological aggression, physical discipline, and nonphysical discipline were positively associated with and harsh physical discipline negatively associated with children’s social skills. Maternal education, preschool enrollment, and household wealth variously moderated the associations between different modes of discipline and children’s literacy and social skills and behavioral difficulty. Conclusions Findings underline the negative consequences of harsh discipline on children’s social and literacy skills and behavioral difficulty in African cultural communities.
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Fathers have a profound and lasting impact on their children’s development. Parents and caregivers are the most important providers of nurturing care for children, and while women have historically taken the role of principal caregivers, this document recognizes the need to support fathers and male caregivers to assume a central parenting role, together with the children’s mothers or female caregivers, as in practice, men’s involvement in childrearing although increasing, is still limited across the world. This paper first summarizes evidence showing how positive male engagement can contribute to children’s physical and mental health, better cognitive development and higher educational achievement, as well as have a profound impact on children’s future relationships as parents and partners, as well as promote gender inequitable relationships and power imbalances in decision-making within the household. Male engagement can contribute to preventing violence in their families. The paper then identifies the existing obstacles to men’s engagement as fathers; the fourth section provides examples of good practices and interventions that have addressed these constraints to engaging men. Finally, it offers conclusions, and research, policy and programmatic recommendations to promote the engagement of men in care giving as equitable, affectionate and non-violent fathers.
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Studies show that fathers across Western populations tend to provide more care to sons than daughters. Following a human behavioral ecological framework, we hypothesize that son-biases in fathering may (at least in part) be due to differences in fitness returns to paternal direct investments by child’s sex. In this study, we investigate sex-differences in the associations between paternal caregiving and children’s outcomes in stable, two-parent families. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, we test whether paternal caregiving in early childhood is associated with different effects on children’s school test scores and behavioral difficulties by children’s sex. Overall, we find that paternal caregiving is associated with higher school test scores and lower behavioral difficulty scores, but the association between paternal caregiving and school test scores was stronger for boys. Our findings highlight possible sex-differences in returns to paternal caregiving for certain domains of child outcomes in England.
Article
Using propositions in cultural-ecological and maternal and paternal engagement models, this study utilized the 2018 UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys to examine which sociodemographic factors were associated with fathers’ and mothers’ cognitive engagement and the associations between parental and maternal cognitive engagement and preschoolers’ literacy skills in Amerindian, Maroon, Creole, Javanese, Hindustani, and Mixed-ethnic families in Suriname ( N = 1,008). After establishing measurement invariance in constructs across ethnic groups, analyses revealed few consistent sociodemographic predictors of paternal and maternal cognitive engagement. Patterns of associations between paternal and maternal cognitive engagement and children’s literacy skills were not uniform across ethnic groups. Data have implications for understanding mothers’ and fathers’ contributions to children’s early literacy skills development and for developing parenting intervention programs in Suriname.
Book
This book provides a systematic exploration of family literacy, including its historic origins, theoretical expansion, practical applications within the field, and focused topics within family literacy. Grounded in sociocultural approaches to learning and literacy, the book covers research on how families use literacy in their daily lives as well as different models of family literacy programs and interventions that provide opportunities for parent-child literacy interactions and that support the needs of children and parents as adult learners. Chapters discuss key topics, including the roles of race, ethnicity, culture, and social class in family literacy; digital family literacies; family-school relationships and parental engagement in schools; fathers’ involvement in family literacy; accountability and employment; and more. Throughout the book, Lynch and Prins share evidence-based literacy practices and highlight examples of successful family literacy programs. Acknowledging lingering concerns, challenges, and critiques of family literacy, the book also offers recommendations for research, policy, and practice. Accessible and thorough, this book comprehensively addresses family literacies and is relevant for researchers, scholars, graduate students, and instructors and practitioners in language and literacy programs.
Article
As elsewhere, in Italy girls read more than boys, and mothers read more to their children than fathers, despite growing evidence on the impact of fathers’ reading on children’s linguistic, cognitive and relational skills, as well as on fathers themselves for parent-child bonding, and to enhance fathers’ empathy and emotional self-awareness. There is also evidence that both fathers and mothers may spend more time reading to girls than to boys who can be more restive physically and less attentive. Reading tends to be viewed as a feminine domain. The authors recommend promoting reading by fathers, as well as mothers, for the father-child relationship, increasing fathers’ self confidence in their parenting skills, and for the child’s cognitive and psycho-social development. Overcoming the stereotype that reading is mainly a female activity and promoting caring masculinities that help to prevent domestic violence are also important.
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This paper aims at investigating the extent of linguistic gender bias in the textbooks of Kurdish language alphabet (Sorani dialect), which have been taught in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) since 1951. The first book, entitled the New Alphabet (henceforth NA), has been replaced by a two-volume Kurdish Study textbook (henceforth KS). The books were examined quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of seven categories: male/female visibility in text and illustrations, firstness, male/female oriented talk, masculine generic construction, occupational roles, distribution of household chores, and male/female children"s personality traits. Meanwhile the two books were compared to find out to which extent the designers were aware of gender imbalance and endeavored to minimize it. A thorough analysis of the samples led to findings that expose stereotypical bias against females with reference to language, text and illustrations. The results also emphasized that in designing the current Kurdish alphabet textbook the issue of gender bias has not been accounted for by material developers. This is while the linguistic prejudice against females, who generally constitute half of the total population of any society, can adversely and unconsciously affect children"s perception of the capacities and limitations of either sex. Therefore, the study draws on some pedagogical implications to help eliminate the negative implied messages in these books.
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This study examined the effects of an early reading intervention on preschool-age dual language learners' (DLL) early literacy skills. Instruction in phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge was embedded in interactive reading strategies, also known as dialogic reading. A single subject multiple baseline across subjects design was applied to 15 DLL preschool children. The intervention was delivered in participating children's home language, Spanish (L1). Children's growth in emergent literacy skills in Spanish and in English was monitored during baseline and intervention conditions. Visual analysis of single subject graphs indicated gains across all participants. In addition, paired-samples t-tests showed significant growth between pre- and post-tests in both English and Spanish of participating children. The findings have implications for research, practice, and policy-making.
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This study examines the potential benefits of rhyme on young children’s word retention during shared reading. In two experiments, 2- to 4-year-old children heard their parent read either a rhymed or non-rhymed version of the same animal story, and were then tested on how many animal names they subsequently recognized from the story in Experiment 1 and could correctly identify in Experiment 2. In both experiments, children performed better in the rhyme condition across the age range despite differing levels of word familiarity. While there were no other differences between conditions in parents’ reading styles or the emphasis placed on the animal names, parents’ dramatic pausing just before reading animal names may have promoted children’s ability to anticipate animals before they were initially named. These findings supported the hypothesis that rhyme combined with parental behavior can facilitate active prediction on the part of children, which in turn may contribute to their word retention and learning from the storybooks.
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THIS STUDY explores the usefulness of the attachment relationship between children and parents for explaining differences in parent-preschooler reading in high- and low-socioeconomic-status families. On the basis of a questionnaire completed by about 350 mothers of 3-year-olds, three matched groups were composed: infrequently reading dyads, low SES (n = 15); frequently reading dyads, low SES (n = 15); and frequently reading dyads, high SES (n = 15). The children's behavior during a reunion after being separated from their mothers for about 30 minutes was scored on a rating scale for attachment security. Mothers and children were then observed while reading. The study supports the hypothesis that less secure dyads read less frequently. The groups also differed in the way parents shaped interactive reading: In the frequently reading group there was less communication about the book, whereas in the infrequently reading group more irrelevant interactions (such as disciplining) occurred. The frequently reading groups from low and high SES differed only in number of inferences. A developmental model of interactive reading is proposed, and it is concluded that programs must create a safe base from which children can explore literacy.
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The nature of parental guidance during book reading is an important influence on developmental outcomes linked to literacy and language. Despite extensive research documenting the importance of gender roles and schemas on young children’s participation in the sociocultural environment, little is known about the possible influences of parent and child gender on participation in literacy activities. The purpose of this study was to observe guidance behaviours employed by 26 mothers and fathers when reading to their three-year-old child in separate sessions. There was a consistent pattern of findings indicating that fathers provided more guidance to daughters, whereas mothers had higher rates of guided participation with sons. However, there were no differences on parental ratings of enjoyment or frequency of reading with sons or daughters. Theresults highlight interesting differences in parent-child interactions during reading and suggest that both parent and child gender may influence exchanges during shared storybook reading.
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Book reading has been demonstrated to promote vocabulary. The current study was conducted to examine the added value of an interactive shared book reading format that emphasizes active as opposed to noninteractive participation by the child. Studies that included a dialogic reading intervention group and a reading-as-usual control group, and that reported vocabulary as an outcome measure were located. After extracting relevant data from 16 eligible studies, a meta-analysis was conducted to attain an overall mean effect size reflecting the success of dialogic reading in increasing children's vocabulary compared to typical shared reading. When focusing on measures of expressive vocabulary in particular (k = 9, n = 322), Cohen's d was .59 (SE = .08; 95% CI = 0.44, 0.75; p < .001), which is a moderate effect size. However, the effect size reduced substantially when children were older (4 to 5 years old) or when they were at risk for language and literacy impairments. Dialogic reading can change the home literacy activities of families with 2- to 3-year-old children but not those of families with children at greatest risk for school failure. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant (#411-02-506) from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to Adriana G. Bus.
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In this introductory article to the Special Issue, we provide an overview of the research and policy context for the Early Head Start Father Studies. We describe the methods used to conduct the father studies, which began in 1997 and were designed to complement the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, a random assignment evaluation of 3,001 families - half who received Early Head Start services and half who did not. The Early Head Start Father Studies included in the Special Issue addressed 5 key research questions about low-income fathers and their children (all under 3 years old) using a variety of data collection approaches, including mother report, father report, father - child videotaped interactions, and Early Head Start program staff report. Here we describe the father studies' methods and response rates, father demographics, and father - child relationship status.
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The influence of contextual factors on parent-child interactions, and the role of these factors in the incidence of gender differences in communication, was examined. Twelve daughters and twelve sons (mean age = 43 months) visited a university laboratory on separate occasions, once with their mothers and once with their fathers. During both visits, the parent-child pair played with a relatively masculine-stereotyped toy set, oriented toward construction play (a take-apart car), and a relatively feminine-stereotyped toy set, oriented toward social-dramatic play (props for a grocery store). Transcripts of the parent and child speech acts were coded while listening to audiotape recordings of the interactions. The results indicated that the play activity, and not the speaker's gender, significantly affected both parents' and children's use of different speech acts. Parent gender was an additional predictor of children's speech. All of the significant effects had large effect sizes. The findings support theoretical models and other research reports that emphasise the importance of activity settings in the sex-typing process.
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The study examined parent, child, and dyadic gender effects in parent reports of words and MLUs. Mothers and fathers from 113 families completed the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Toddlers when the toddlers were 1;7; half completed a follow-up at 2;0. Child gender differences in words and MLUs increased over time and parent gender differences decreased. Dyadic analyses revealed bidirectional influences. At 1;7, dyadic scores for words and MLUs displayed a descending pattern from mother—daughter, to mother—son, to father—daughter, to father—son dyads. At 2;0, the most and fewest words were reported in mother—daughter and mother—son dyads, respectively; and the longest and shortest MLUs in father—daughter and father—son dyads, respectively. The data raise questions about the ‘bridge hypothesis.’ They suggest that fathers are more likely to provide a bridge for daughters than for sons; daughters may play an active role in eliciting this behavior.
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This meta-analysis examines to what extent interactive storybook reading stimulates two pillars of learning to read: vocabulary and print knowledge. The authors quantitatively reviewed 31 (quasi) experiments (n = 2,049 children) in which educators were trained to encourage children to be actively involved before, during, and after joint book reading. A moderate effect size was found for oral language skills, implying that both quality of book reading in classrooms and frequency are important. Although teaching print-related skills is not part of interactive reading programs, 7% of the variance in kindergarten children’s alphabetic knowledge could be attributed to the intervention. The study also shows that findings with experimenters were simply not replicable in a natural classroom setting. Further research is needed to disentangle the processes that explain the effects of interactive reading on children’s print knowledge and the strategies that may help transfer intervention effects from researchers to children’s own teachers.
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The study purpose was to describe parent—child engagement and parental guidance of children’s participation in literacy-related activities at home. Of the 37 families who participated in a home-based multimethod assessment of storybook reading and play activities, 13 were considered low income. The children’s mean age was 60 months. Parents read two storybooks with their child and engaged in a 15-minute play session with toys related to the stories. Results indicated that the overall amount of guidance provided did not differ due to income level of the families. Certain findings indicated that middle income parents provided greater support for early literacy learning, in that they engaged in more teaching during reading, made more connections between the book and the play episode, and reported reading to their children daily. However, regardless of income or education, parents provided high levels of support to sustain the children’s interest and engagement in both activities, using social connections such as humor and personal references. The extent to which both teaching-oriented guidance and socio-emotional involvement in early home-based literacy activities may be linked to enjoyment, motivation and success in subsequent school-based literacy experiences warrants further investigation among economically diverse families.
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This Special Issue presents a series of studies on men who functioned as fathers in the Early Head Start National Evaluation Study. The pieces focused on how these men viewed themselves as fathers, what they did with and for their children, how that mattered in the lives of children, and what Early Head Start programs were doing to try to foster positive involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. This final article reflects on those efforts and tries to place them in the broader literature on family life among the poor and governmental efforts to assist those families. Special attention is given to the complexity of family life in the 21st century and to the challenges that face men who are often trying to parent in highly uncertain and unstable conditions.
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Four theoretical perspectives about why father involvement could have positive consequences for child development are briefly reviewed: attachment theory, social capital theory, Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory, and "essential father" theory. Strengths and weaknesses of each perspective are discussed, and the prospects for an integrated ecological-parental capital theory of paternal influence on child development are considered.
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Language research thrives on data collected from spontaneous interactions in naturally occurring situations. However, the process of collecting, transcribing, and analyzing naturalistic data can be extremely time-consuming and often unreliable. This book describes three basic tools for language analysis of transcript data by computer that have been developed in the context of the "Child Language Data Exchange System (CHILDES)" project. These are: the "CHAT" transcription and coding format, the "CLAN" package of analysis programs, and the "CHILDES" database. These tools have brought about significant changes in the way research is conducted in the child language field. They are being used with great success by researchers working with second language learning, adult conversational interactions, sociological content analyses, and language recovery in aphasia, as well as by students of child language development. The tools are widely applicable, although this book concentrates on their use in the child language field, believing that researchers from other areas can make the necessary analogies to their own topics. This thoroughly revised 2nd edition includes documentation on a dozen new computer programs that have been added to the basic system for transcript analysis. The most important of these new programs is the "CHILDES" Text Editor (CED) which can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including editing non-Roman orthographies, systematically adding codes to transcripts, checking the files for correct use of "CHAT," and linking the files to digitized audio and videotape. In addition to information on the new computer programs, the manual documents changed the shape of the "CHILDES/BIB" system--given a major update in 1994--which now uses a new computer database system. The documentation for the "CHILDES" transcript database has been updated to include new information on old corpora and information on more than a dozen new corpora from many different languages. Finally, the system of "CHAT" notations for file transcript have been clarified to emphasize the ways in which the codes are used by particular "CLAN" programs. The new edition concludes with a discussion of new directions in transcript analysis and links between the "CHILDES" database and other developments in multimedia computing and global networking. It also includes complete references organized by research topic area for the more than 300 published articles that have made use of the "CHILDES" database and/or the "CLAN" programs. LEA also distributes the "CLAN" programs and the complete "CHILDES" Database--including corpora from several languages and discourse situations--described in "The CHILDES Project." Be sure to choose the correct platform (IBM or Macintosh) for the "CLAN" programs; the "CHILDES" Database CD-ROM runs on both platforms.
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Two experiments were conducted to assess how children who differ in vocabulary knowledge learn new vocabulary incidentally from listening to stories read aloud. In both experiments, 4-yr-old children were classified as having either high or low word knowledge on the basis of a median split of their Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Revised (PPVT—R) standard scores. In Exp 1, children either listened passively or labeled pictures using novel words during the book readings. We found that children with larger vocabularies produced more novel words than did children with smaller vocabularies, and children who answered questions during the book readings comprehended and produced more words than did children who passively listened to the story. In Exp 2, children either listened to readings of a book, pointed to pictures during the readings, or labeled pictures during the readings. Children with larger vocabularies comprehended more novel words than did children with smaller vocabularies. Children who actively participated by labeling or pointing learned more words than did children who listened passively to book readings. Findings clarify the role of active responding by demonstrating that verbal and nonverbal responding are effective means of enhancing vocabulary acquisition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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25 children, selected for verbal precocity at 20 mo of age, participated in a longitudinal study investigating predictors of later language and literacy skills. Although children remained verbally precocious, there was a low incidence of precocious reading. Exposure to instruction in letter names and sounds was a significant predictor of children's knowledge of print conventions, invented spelling, and phonological awareness at age 4½ yrs. Frequency of story reading in the home and child engagement in a story reading episode at age 24 mo were significant predictors of children's language ability at age 2½ yrs and 4½ yrs and knowledge of print conventions at age 4½ yrs. It is concluded that story reading with parents as well as literacy instruction contributes to the development of emergent literacy in verbally precocious children. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The current review is a quantitative meta-analysis ofthe available empirical evidence related to parent-preschooler reading and several outcome mea- sures. In selecting the studies to be included in this meta-analysis, we focused on studies examining thefrequency ofbook reading to preschoolers. The results support the hypothesis that parent-preschooler reading is related to outcome measures such äs language growth, emergent literacy, and reading achievement. The overall effect size ofd = .59 indicates that book reading explains about 8% of the variance in the outcome measures. The results support the hypothesis that book reading, in particular, ajfects acqui- sition of the written language register. The effect of parent-presch ooler reading is not dependent on the socioeconomic Status of the families or on several methodological differences between the studies. However, the effect seems to become smaller äs soon äs children become conventional readers and are able to read on their own.
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This article reports on two studies investigating the effect of contextual variables on young children's language use in conversation. In Study 1, 20 children between age 1;5 and 2;2 were recorded in conversation with their mothers in three settings: mealtime, toy play, and book reading. In Study 2, 16 children between age 1;9 and 3;0 were recorded in dyadic toy play interaction with three different conversational partners: a 5-year-old older sibling, an 8-year-old older sibling, and their mother. Both studies found effects of the contextual variable on children's vocabulary use and discourse cohesion. The children used a richer vocabulary and produced more topic-continuing contributions in book reading than in other contexts, and they used a richer vocabulary and produced more responses to questions in conversation with their mothers than in conversation with their older siblings. Despite mean effects of context, there was cross-context stability in the individual differences among children.
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In this introductory article to the Special Issue, we provide an overview of the research and policy context for the Early Head Start Father Studies. We describe the methods used to conduct the father studies, which began in 1997 and were designed to complement the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project, a random assignment evaluation of 3,001 families - half who received Early Head Start services and half who did not. The Early Head Start Father Studies included in the Special Issue addressed 5 key research questions about low-income fathers and their children (all under 3 years old) using a variety of data collection approaches, including mother report, father report, father - child videotaped interactions, and Early Head Start program staff report. Here we describe the father studies' methods and response rates, father demographics, and father - child relationship status.
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This study examined potential differences in vocabulary found in picture books and adult’s speech to children and to other adults. Using a small sample of various sources of speech and print, Hayes observed that print had a more extensive vocabulary than speech. The current analyses of two different spoken language databases and an assembled picture book corpus replicated and extended these findings. The vocabulary in picture books was more extensive than that found in child-directed speech (CDS) and even adult-directed speech (ADS). The likelihood of observing a rare word not contained in the most common 5,000 words in English was more likely in a corpus of picture books than in two different corpora of CDS. The likelihood of a rare word in the picture books was even greater than that found in ADS. It is proposed that these differences are more indicative of informal versus formal language rather than the spoken versus written modalities per se. Nonetheless, these results highlight the value of rich read-aloud experiences for vocabulary development and potentially for reading comprehension once written language is acquired. These findings are described in terms of a distinction between formal and informal language, which has implications for views of literacy, cognitive and linguistic development, and learning to read.
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In this Monograph, we examine how toddlers and their caregivers from four cultural communities collaborate in shared activities. We focus both on similarities across communities in processes of guided participation--structuring children's participation and bridging between their understanding and that of their caregivers--and on differences in how guided participation occurs. We examine the idea that a key cultural difference entails who is responsible for learning--whether adults take this responsibility by structuring teaching situations or whether children take responsibility for learning through observation and through participating in adult activities with caregivers' support. We speculate that these two patterns relate to cultural variation in the segregation of children from adult activities of their community and in emphasis on formal schooling. The four communities of our study vary along these lines as well as in other ways: a Mayan Indian town in Guatemala, a middle-class urban group in the United States, a tribal village in India, and a middle-class urban neighborhood in Turkey. In each community, we visited the families of 14 toddlers (aged 12-24 months) for an interview that was focused on child-rearing practices, which included observations of caregivers helping the toddlers operate novel objects spontaneously during adult activities. Results are based on systematic analysis of patterns of communication and attention in each family in each community, combining the tools of ethnographic description, graphic analysis, and statistics.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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Building upon Wood & Middleton's (1975) concept of parental scaffolding, the influence of parent-child interactions on children's competence within several tasks was investigated. Thirty-two 2-year-old children visited our lab twice, once with their mothers and once with their fathers. During each session dyads participated in problem-solving and literacy tasks, followed by independent child performance tasks. Although subtle differences were found between mothers' and fathers' contingent behaviours displayed during the interactions, at a global level, parents were equally effective in their ability to scaffold their children's emerging skills. Specifically, parental scaffolding behaviours were associated with children's success measured both during the interaction and independently (i.e. following the interactions). These results have implications for the interpretation of research comparing mothers and fathers, and lend support to the claim that scaffolding can be an effective instructional strategy.
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The purpose of this study was to describe the relations among mother-child interactions as they relate to written language, attachment security, and the child's performance on a number of emergent-literacy measures. 16 1½-year-olds, 15 3½-year-olds, and 14 5½-year-olds participated in the study. Each mother-child dyad read through 2 books (Dribble and Letterbook) and watched "Sesame Street" fragments about letters and words. The Strange Situation procedure was used to observe attachment security with the youngest group. In the older groups, the children were left on their own by the mother for about 1 hour, during which they were tested and it was observed how the children reacted upon the return of the mother. In addition, each 3½- and 5½-year-old completed 5 emergent-literacy tests. The results suggest that mothers of small children give reading instruction. Furthermore, it is shown that in securely attached dyads, there is less need to discipline; the children are less distracted than in anxiously attached dyads. In addition, securely attached dyads tend to pay more attention to reading instruction and to engage in more proto-reading. Last, children who get more reading instruction and less narration score higher on emergent-literacy measures.
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We consider the effect on estimation of simultaneous variable centering and interaction ef-fects in linear regression. We technically define, review, and amplify many of the statistical issues for interaction models with centering in order to create a useful and compact refer-ence for teachers, students, and applied researchers. In addition, we investigate a sequence of models that have an interaction effect and/or variable centering and derive expressions for the change in the regression coefficients between models from both an intuitive and mathematical perspective. We demonstrate how these topics may be employed to motivate discussion of other important areas, e.g., misspecification bias, multicollinearity, design of experiments, and regression surfaces. This paper presents a number of results also given elsewhere but in a form that gives a unified view of the topic. The examples cited are from the area of medical statistics.
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The language of mothers, fathers, and children was examined in 50 low-income families. Mother–child and father–child dyads were videotaped separately during play when children were 2;0 years old. Language transcriptions were coded for communicative diversity, word types, and grammatical complexity in parents and children. Mother–child and father–child conversations were similar and were strongly correlated at the dyad level, although differences emerged in the repetitions of children’s utterances, closed-ended questions, affirmations, and action directives. Mothers’ and fathers’ language related to children’s language in specific ways. Individual children experience relatively enriched or impoverished language environments, rather than one parent “compensating” for the other. This may explain why some low-income children lag in their language development early on, whereas others are “on track.”
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The input of mothers and fathers to five-year-old children was examined, in both dyadic and whole-family interactions, to determine whether paternal input to five-year-olds was more challenging and less finely tuned than maternal input, as has been reported for interactions with younger children. Previous work has suggested that fathers' input might be particularly helpful in the development of the distanced communicative skills that develop after toddlerhood. Language of all speakers (in both family and dyadic settings) was analysed for evidence of complexity, for conversational function, and for cognitive challenge, variables that previous investigations have suggested might differentiate fathers' from mothers' language. However, in both interaction settings these mothers spoke more and more complexly than fathers and at mealtimes they were more active in initiating varied conversation topics in which the child could participate.
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This paper reports the findings of a prospective longitudinal study of the development of representation and communication in toddlers from middle-class Caucasian families. Toddler language and play were assessed independently at 13 and 20 months. These two abilities covaried at 13, but not at 20 months. Toddlers showed individual stability in language from 13 to 20 months, but not in play. Two domains of parent-child interactions were also evaluated in separate mother-toddler and father-toddler observations at 13 months. The two domains included social interactions (verbal and non-verbal affectively-oriented, dyadic communications) and didactic interactions (verbal and non-verbal encouragement of attention to extradyadic properties, objects, and events in the environment). Mothers and fathers behaved similarly, and the two domains were independent. Mothers' and fathers' interactions covaried with specific toddler abilities at 13 months, but neither parent nor interaction domain uniquely or consistently predicted toddlers' abilities from 13 to 20 months.
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Most studies of parent–child bookreading have focused on mothers reading to their children. Though the role of fathers in children's lives is widely emphasized, we know almost nothing about father–child bookreading, particularly among low-income families. The present study was designed to examine how often low-income fathers report reading to their children and what the predictors and effects of paternal bookreading are. The fathers in this study were participants in the national evaluation of Early Head Start (EHS) and were recruited via mothers enrolled in the EHS study. Participating fathers were interviewed at home and their children's cognitive and language development were assessed using standardized measures from ages 2 to 5. Results demonstrated a wide variety in frequency of bookreading among fathers. Fathers were more likely to read to their children frequently if they spoke English at home, if they had a high school education, and if their children had better language skills. Fathers’ bookreading predicted children's cognitive outcome. Paternal bookreading did predict children's language outcomes but only for children whose fathers had at least a high school education.
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This paper reviews the literature on the similarities and differences in child-directed speech (CDS) employed by fathers and mothers. The contributions that fathers are thought to make to their children’s language and communicative development are discussed, and factors influencing the findings and interpretations of empirical studies of fathers’ CDS are presented.
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Who reads to young children? Analyses of data from the National Household Education Survey of 1995 (NHES:95) are performed to investigate the influences on the frequency of parental reading to young children. The NHES:95 data set is based on a national survey of households utilizing random digit dialing methods and computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) technology. Reports were obtained from the parents and guardians of a representative sample of 7,566 preschoolers and toddlers. Frequency of reading to children was found to vary by ethnicity, primary language spoken in the home, child's age, number of siblings, and mother's educational attainment. Income and number of parents in the home were not found to influence reading frequency when controlling for these other variables. Controlling for income, education, and family size and structure, there are differences among ethnic groups in reported frequency of families reading to children. The development of more culturally sensitive adult/ and or family literacy education may be called for, and parent education programs targeting those with the least education might be especially valuable. Further research aimed at understanding the associations between parental characteristics and reading to young children could contribute importantly to the development of improved literacy interventions for young children and their families.
Article
This study examines two theories concerning the nature of parents' talk to their young children. The Differential Experience Hypothesis posits that mothers' and fathers' speech styles are distinguishable and each serves a different function in the child's language development. In contrast the Context Hypothesis argues that observed differences between parents are the product of the different contexts in which parent-toddler interaction is examined. An analysis of mothers' and fathers' talk to their 10- and 15-month-olds during three activities- book play, toy play and free play - revealed that both the structure and function of parental language were influenced most by the nature of play in which parent-child pairs were engaged. Variation between mothers and fathers may, therefore, reflect a predisposition for parents to engage in different activities when their language is recorded for examination. Moreover, it is argued that these differ ences reflect their idiosyncratic perceptions of socially expected behaviour.
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The purpose of this article is to examine developments in the area of family literacy over the last decade. Acknowledging the bifurcation that has occurred in the field of family literacy, as well as changing conceptions of literacy and of families, we review naturalistic studies of literacy embedded and enacted in communities and families across different sociocultural context and also what we see as the evolving nature of family literacy programs. We conclude with an acknowledgement of some of the ongoing concerns, issues, and tensions in the field and a call for sensitivity on the part of all of us involved in family literacy research and programs.
Article
Most research on parental bookreading has focused on mothers reading to their children. This study examined bookreading practices among approximately 800 fathers and mothers in low‐income families. We looked at differences and similarities between families where both parents read frequently compared to families where only mothers read frequently. In more than a third of the low‐income families in this study, both parents reported reading to their young children on a regular basis (daily or weekly). Parents who were higher educated, who had girls and who had children with better language and cognitive skills were more likely to read frequently to their children. Intervention efforts to increase reading in the home to toddlers and preschoolers in low‐income families should be targeted at fathers, a relatively under‐tapped resource, and should focus on families in which parents have lower levels of education and those whose children have less advanced cognitive and language skills.
Article
G. J. Whitehurst et al (see record 1989-02401-001) taught mothers specific interactive techniques to use when reading picture books with their preschool-age children. This intervention program, called dialogic reading, produced substantial effects on preschool children's language development. However, the costs of one-on-one training limit the widespread use of dialogic reading techniques. In this study the authors aimed to replicate and extend the results of the original study of dialogic reading by developing and evaluating an inexpensive videotape training package for teaching dialogic reading techniques. Mothers were randomly assigned to receive no training, traditional direct training, or videotape training. Results supported the conclusions of Whitehurst et al: Dialogic reading had powerful effects on children's language skills and indicated that videotape training provided a cost-effective, standardized means of implementing the program. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
We experimentally assessed a 1-month, home-based intervention, designed to optimize parental reading of picture books to young children. Parents in the experimental group received instructions to increase their rates of open-ended questions, function/attribute questions, and expansions; to respond appropriately to children's attempts to answer these questions; and to decrease their frequency of straight reading and questions that could be answered by pointing. Control-group parents were instructed to read in their customary fashion. All families audiotaped their reading sessions at home. Analysis of these tapes demonstrated that the experimental group scored significantly higher than children in the control group on standardized posttests of expressive language ability. On the basis of analysis of audiotapes, children in the experimental group also had a higher mean length of utterance (MLU), a higher frequency of phrases, and a lower frequency of single words. Follow-up 9 months after the completion of treatment disclosed continued, although statistically diminished, differences between the two groups. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
The effects of an interactive book reading program were assessed with children from low-income families who attended subsidized day-care centers in New York. The children entered the program with language development in standard English vocabulary and expression that was about 10 mo behind chronological age on standardized tests. Children were pretested and assigned randomly within classrooms to 1 of 3 conditions: (1) a school plus home condition in which the children were read to by their teachers and their parents, (2) a school condition in which children were read to only by teachers, and (3) a control condition in which children engaged in play activities under the supervision of their teachers. Training of adult readers was based on a self-instructional video. The intervention lasted for 6 wks, at which point children were posttested on several standardized measures of language ability that had been used as pretests. These assessments were repeated at a 6 mo follow-up. Educationally and statistically significant effects of the reading intervention were obtained at posttest and follow-up on measures of expressive vocabulary. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This chapter discusses the outcomes of a series of studies in which the author closely examined various aspects of parent-preschooler storybook readings. The studies' results suggest on possible explanation of how book reading supports children's literacy development during both the preschool and elementary stages. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
present data from an ongoing long-term study of language and literacy development [the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development] with low-income children [age 3 through early school years] and the various ways in which home and preschool experiences affect their emerging literacy skills / because the study is based on a theory that emphasizes the importance of oral language skills, we examine settings that include but are not limited to book reading / describe book reading in homes and preschools, mealtimes in the home, and teacher–child interactions throughout the day in preschools / report links between variations in the type of interaction in these settings and children's emerging literacy skills in kindergarten / these portraits should be of interest to program developers because they reveal patterns of interaction that exist prior to intervention efforts [the authors] have 3 major points to make / literacy draws upon oral language abilities as well as print-specific skills / literacy skills are nurtured both in homes and in preschools through events that include but are not restricted to book reading / homes and preschools differ in the kinds of support they provide for early literacy development (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This chapter focuses on examining the potential of shared book reading to contribute to a very specific, and, the authors argue, crucial aspect of preschool development: children's vocabulary. The chapter links analyses of interaction during book reading and the particular affordances of book reading to the body of research on the nature and course of children's vocabulary development. As a background to discussing the basic claim of this chapter, that book reading with preschoolers can be a major stimulus for vocabulary development, the authors first review briefly some of the conclusions drawn from research on child language development about the nature of vocabulary learning in preschoolers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This paper examines individual differences in the rate of early lexical development with a specific interest in gender differences. Twenty-six children were assessed monthly from either 8, 9, or 10 months of age through 14 months of age, using the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory: Words and Gestures. Individual differences in developmental trajectories of vocabulary comprehension and production were explored using two analytic approaches. The first involved traditional parametric statistics, while the latter utilized classification procedures. Both techniques demonstrated that the lexical development of girls outpaced that of boys. The inductive approach also revealed the presence of distinctive "fast" and "slow" trajectories for both comprehension and production that were not exclusively segregated by gender. Cases exhibiting fast trajectories were predominantly girls, but several boys also followed this developmental pattern. The opposite pattern emerged for the slow trajectories. There was strong correspondence between production and comprehension, but a few cases clustered into the fast development group on one measure and the slow group on the other. The identification of these outliers may offer an important tool for exploring mechanisms of language development. Validation of the clustering results was based on the prospective prediction of an external criterion variable, namely, lexical development at 21 months, and by replication on an independent sample.
Article
Parents can play an important role in assisting their children to learn to read, and can act as good role models in promoting reading behaviour. While there has been a raft of research on the impact of parents as teachers, there has been little empirical analysis on the impact of parents in modelling reading. Addressing this gap in the literature with time-diary data, this paper presents a study of the association between parents' and young people's reading in the United Kingdom. The paper finds a strong association between parents' and young people's reading concentrated in households where parents are observed to read for more than 30 minutes per day. In addition, mothers' reading is associated primarily with girls' reading (especially in lone-mother households), while fathers' reading is strongly associated with boys' reading. Some implications for campaigns to encourage young people's reading through increased parental reading are discussed.
Article
The purpose of this study was to provide descriptive information about low-income fathers’ and mothers’ talk to toddlers and to re-examine the bridge hypothesis (Gleason, 1975) in light of current changes in family structure and childcare responsibilities. Thirty-three father–child and mother–child dyads were videotaped during semi-structured free play at home. Fathers’ and mothers’ talk to children did not differ in amount, diversity of vocabulary, or linguistic complexity as measured by mean length of utterance. However, fathers produced more wh-questions and explicit clarification requests, thus presenting more conversational challenges to children. Resident fathers employed more direct forms of prohibitives. Results suggest the need for closer examination of factors related to child-directed speech in varying family configurations.
Article
Modeling the Dynamics of Paternal Influences on Children over the Life Course Is a heuristic model, which identifies sets of variables that predict father involvement, variables that interact to predict involvement, and variables that influence father characteristics and thereby influence involvement. It also suggests moderators and mediators of pathways from predictors to father involvement and from father involvement to child outcomes. It is a dynamic model, assuming change over the life course, while retaining paternal influences from one developmental period to another. The model is rooted in the extant literature, although it is not circumscribed by that literature. As a heuristic model, it offers a framework from which measurement models can be derived to address research questions of interest.