ERIC Number: ED201412
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Longitudinal Focus on Fathers: Predicting Toddler Adaptation.
Grossman, Frances Kaplan
The purposes of this longitudinal study were: (1) to see whether it was possible to discern direct or indirect effects of mothers' and fathers' functioning on their 2-year-olds' cognitive, social, and psychomotor adaptations, and (2) to examine separately the relationships between parent functioning and the adaptations of first and later born 2-year-olds. Fifty-two mother-father-toddler family units participated in the study. Thirty-one of the toddlers were first or only children and 21 were later born. Data from the families were collected at 6 points in time: early in the pregnancy, late in the pregnancy (32 to 36 weeks), shortly after the birth, at 2 months post partum, and near the child's first and second birthdays. During the 2-year home visit, each parent was individually interviewed, the child was given the Bayley Mental Development Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Development Index (PDI), and mother, father and child were observed in partially structured play interactions for 45 minutes. At the end of the visit parents were asked to complete and return a Development Inventory (DI) form designed to screen out disturbance in children. Among the results, it was found that mothers who were more anxious and depressed in early pregnancy had children with substantially lower scores on the DI at 2 years, and this relationship was stronger for first born children than for later born children. There is some support that father's involvement was the intervening variable between mother's early postpartum adaptation and the adaptation of the 2-year-old; fathers whose wives were not doing well with the child in the early neonatal period stepped in to fill the need and continued their greater involvement with the 2-year-old. For first born boys and girls, the more time the fathers were spending with them on weekends, the less good their adaptation. This was also true for later born girls but not for later born boys. (Author/MP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bayley Mental Development Index; Bayley Psychomotor Development Index; First Born; Toddlers
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Boston, MA, April 2-5, 1981).