Publication Details

Duursma, E. (2014). The effects of fathers' and mothers' reading to their children on language outcomes of children participating in early head start in the United States. Fathering: a journal of theory and research about men as parents, 12 (3), 283-302.


It is well known that reading aloud affects children 's language and literacy development. Little is known though, about fathers reading to their children. This study examined paternal and maternal bookreading frequency among 430 low-income families and investigated whether paternal bookreading and maternal bookreading predicted children 's early language and cognitive development and emergent literacy skills. Results demonstrated that mothers read more frequently to their toddlers than fathers but approximately 55% of fathers reported reading at least weekly to their children. Paternal bookreading at 24 and 36 months significantly predicted children's language and cognitive skills at age 36 months as well as their book knowledge at preK. Maternal bookreading was only a significant predictor of child cognitive skills at 36 months.



Link to publisher version (DOI)