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ERIC Number: EJ1168928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2506
The Importance of Father Involvement in Early Childhood Programs
Ancell, Katherine S.; Bruns, Deborah A.; Chitiyo, Jonathan
Young Exceptional Children, v21 n1 p22-33 Mar 2018
Active family involvement in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is regarded as a beneficial factor in young children's learning and development. One definition of family involvement is the active role parents take in their child's development and the knowledge and participation they share with professionals who are part of the child's daily life (Bumpus, Crouter, & McHale, 1999). An important, yet overlooked, component in the effort to increase family involvement in ECSE programs has been fathers. Specifically, research reveals that father involvement in a child's development is associated with an array of positive outcomes including higher IQs, advanced linguistic and cognitive capacities, and improved quantitative and verbal skills (Allen & Daly, 2007; Dyer, McBride, Santos, & Jeans, 2009; J. H. Pleck & Masciadrelli, 2004). Father involvement has also been shown to be beneficial to the fathers themselves. For the purpose of this article, the term, "father involvement" is used to refer to a father's functional and social involvement in a child's life (Dyer et al., 2009). Functional involvement refers to a father's physical and hands-on participation in different therapies (i.e., speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy). Social involvement refers to the father's engagement in different leisure activities (i.e., reading, singing, and engaging in play). This article provides examples of programs that successfully involve fathers, and offers strategies to promote father involvement in the lives of young children with disabilities. Although some are loosely based on recommendations from well-regarded programs and initiatives that do not specifically target children with disabilities, they can be incorporated into ECSE programs with modifications to best meet the unique needs of fathers of young children with disabilities. A variety of service providers will benefit from knowledge and use of the strategies discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A