Secondary analyses from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were conducted to investigate whether the impact of father-child relationship quality at 54 months and warmth in the father-child relationship at first grade were related to his child's social skills in the third grade, while controlling for mother-child interaction, father's personality, SES, and attachment. It was further investigated whether warmth in the relationship at first grade mediated the effect of the quality of the relationship on social skills. Participants included 856 families taken from the NICHD Study of Early Child Childcare for secondary analyses. Analyses indicated that the quality of interactions between a father and his 54-month old child was directly related to his child's social skills at 3rd grade. Latent variable structural equation modeling (SEM) found that the quality of early father-child interactions influences a child's later social outcomes through the development of a warm father-child relationship for daughters but not for sons. Implications for theory and future research are discussed. (Author abstract)
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