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.