African American Father Involvement and Preschool Children's School Readiness.

Journal Name
Early Education and Development
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Downer, Jason T.
Mendez, Julia L.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
Resource Language
A developmental ecological model was used to identify child attributes, father characteristics, and familial factors associated with multidimensional father involvement with preschool children enrolled in Head Start. The relations between father involvement and children's school readiness were also investigated. Eighty-five African American fathers and father figures were surveyed about their involvement in child care, home-based educational and school-based educational activities. Children's school readiness competencies were evaluated via teacher report or direct assessment. Father involvement in child care and home-based educational activities were predicted by different contextual factors and child attributes. Fathers were more involved in child care activities when they lived in a child's home and when a child was highly emotional. Fathers who perceived the existence of a strong parenting alliance reported more involvement in home-based educational activities. Father involvement in child care and home-based educational activities was associated with higher levels of children's emotion regulation. Findings are consistent with a contextual, multidimensional perspective of African American fathering and hold policy implications for fatherhood initiatives in the early childhood education field. Efforts to increase father involvement may be most effective when addressing the multitude of influences on fathering behavior and focusing on father-child activities that occur outside of the preschool setting. (Author abstract)

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