Parents play a crucial role in helping their children succeed, however most research has focused on the mother.
A new study from NYU looks at the father's role when it comes to school readiness. The developmental psychologists recruited 126 low-income, Spanish-speaking fathers and their kids from three different head start early-education centers across New York City.
The families were split into two groups. One group participated in an intervention program that focuses on integrating parent training with shared book reading, while the others were placed on a wait list as a control group.
In the intervention group, the fathers watched videos of fathers reading to children with exaggerated errors in parenting and then the fathers discussed and identified better approaches to the interactions, which they practiced during the session and were later encouraged to practice at home.
The intervention looked to improve parenting behaviors such as establishing routines, encouraging child-centered time, and using attention and incentives to promote good behavior.
In the intervention group, the researchers saw that fathers made fewer critical statements to their children and used more positive parenting behaviors like praise and affection. They also saw some improvements in literacy and language among the children.
One of the reasons why studying fathers proved to be difficult to study in the past is because of the high rate of fathers dropping out. The attendance rate for this study was 79-percent.