Writing with young children: A comparison of paternal and maternal guidance

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The increasing involvement of fathers in active parenthood raises questions concerning their parenting style. This study compared mothers and fathers in their writing interactions with their young children, exploring how parents' writing guidance related to children's early literacy. Mothers and fathers of 51 kindergarteners were videotaped separately at home while writing words with their child. Video analysis assessed measures of parental guidance specifically in the writing process and guidance measures that characterised teaching interactions in general. Children's early literacy was assessed. A family style of guidance emerged, where a parent's guidance resembled the spouse's. Moreover, both parents' guidance correlated significantly with children's early literacy. Still, mothers scored higher than fathers on both the writing and the more general guidance measures. The study suggests that encouraging both parents to write with their children, while supplying them with productive methods for guidance, can enhance children's literacy competencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-19
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


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