Playing With Daddy: Social Toy Play, Early Head Start, and Developmental Outcomes.

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Journal Name
Fathering
Journal Volume
2
Journal Issue
1
Page Count
26
Year Published
2004
Author (Individual)
Lori A. Roggman
Lisa K. Boyce
Gina A. Cook
Katie Christiansen
DeAnn Jones.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
PDF

Research on fathers in Early Head Start (EHS) has provided an opportunity to study fathers from low-income families. We examined father-toddler social toy play in relation to EHS enrollment, fathers' psychosocial well-being, and children's developmental outcomes in a sample of 74 father-toddler dyads. Overall, our results show that father-toddler social toy play was more complex among fathers in an EHS program than among those in a comparison group. Greater complexity in father-toddler social toy play predicted better cognitive and social developmental outcomes for young children, especially in the program group, but it was limited by fathers' psychosocial well-being in the comparison group and by time availability in the program group. Nevertheless, the impact of EHS on father-toddler play suggests that an early intervention that targets father involvement can influence positive father-toddler interactions in ways that enhance early development. (Author abstract)

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