Who does the reading, who the talking? Low-income fathers and mothers in the US interacting with their young children around a picture book
Bookreading is known to benefit young children's language and literacy development. However, research has demonstrated that how adults interact around a book with a child is probably even more important than reading the complete text. Dialogic or interactive reading strategies can promote children's language development more specifically. Little is known about how fathers engage in bookreading with their children. This study examined the differences and similarities in interaction style during bookreading among low-income fathers and mothers in the US at child ages two and three, in particular focusing on immediate and non-immediate talk. Results demonstrated that fathers used more non-immediate talk, or talk not directly related to the book, than mothers did, at both child ages. Fathers also used more engagement strategies than mothers did.