Influence of Parental Play on Taiwanese 3-Year-Olds’ Executive Function: Through the Path of Motor Skills

Yu Ju Chou, Bi Ying Hu, Huiping Wu*, Chien Ju Chang, Adam Winsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Parenting is known to impact children’s executive function (EF) skills. However, nearly all the evidence comes from analyses of mother–child interaction. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Child Development and Care Database in Taiwan, the relations between both mother–child and father–child interaction and 3-year-olds’ EF were investigated in 2,164 families. The results showed that mothers interacted with their children differently from fathers in terms of time distribution. Mothers were more equally involved in all aspects of parental involvement, whereas fathers spent more time in play. In addition, both mother–child and father–child play contributed to children’s EF; however, the mediating effect of child motor skills was more prominent for father–child play. This study not only suggests a potential distinct and complementary role of fathers in young children’s EF development but also indicates a unique mediating effect of motor skills in the path from parent–child play to child EF. Implications for parent education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Executive function
  • Motor skills
  • Parent–child play
  • Paternal involvement
  • Young children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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