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ERIC Number: ED513437
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 102
Why Fathers Matter to Their Children's Literacy
Clark, Christina
National Literacy Trust
Research in the last three decades has established a clear link between parental involvement and children's educational attainment (e.g. Fan and Chen, 2001; Desforges and Abouchaar, 2003). While most of what people know is based on mother-child interactions (Waldfogel, 2006), increased attention has been paid to the specific influences fathers and other male caregivers have on their children's development. This paper briefly summarizes the findings from the field of father involvement that also address the issue of children's literacy practices. Since the literature on father involvement and children's literacy outcomes is limited, the focus of the paper has been broadened to encompass evidence regarding father involvement and general child outcomes. This short overview is organized around the following areas: (1) What is the level of fathers' involvement in their children's literacy practices and how are fathers involved? Are mothers and fathers differently involved? Do specific types of involvement at one stage of development result in particular outcomes later in childhood or adolescence?; and (2) What is known about the influence of father involvement on children's literacy practices? What is the influence of father involvement on child outcomes over and above that of mothers? And is father involvement equally beneficial to boys and girls? The literature reviewed in this paper indicates that fathers have an important role to play in their children's literacy development. However, involving fathers in their children's literacy activities not only benefits their children. There are also numerous benefits that have been reported for the fathers themselves, including greater skill acquisition, greater confidence and self-esteem, a better father-child relationship, and increased engagement with learning. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
National Literacy Trust. Swire House, 59 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ, UK. Tel: +44-2078-282435; Fax: +44-2079-319986; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Literacy Trust (England)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom