Father-child and mother-child engagements were examined longitudinally in relation to children's language and cognitive development at 24 and 36 months. The study involved a racially/ethnically diverse sample of low-income, resident fathers (and their partners) from the National Early Head Start evaluation study (n=290). Father-child and mother-child engagements were videotaped for 10 min at home during semistructured free play, and children's language and cognitive status were assessed at both ages. Fathers' and mothers' supportive parenting independently predicted children's outcomes after covarying significant demographic factors. Moreover, fathers' education and income were uniquely associated with child measures, and fathers' education consistently predicted the quality of mother-child engagements. Findings suggest direct and indirect effects of fathering on child development. (Author abstract).
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