Fathers' and mothers' cognitive and social engagement and their associations with preschoolers' literacy and social skills were assessed in Barbados, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Jamaica, and Suriname using the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 4 and 5. The sample consisted of 11,473 preschool-aged children and their parents. Mothers were far more likely to engage in cognitive and social activities with children than were fathers across all countries. Associations between maternal and paternal cognitive engagement and children's literacy skills were not consistent across countries. Preschool enrollment, number of books in the home, and household wealth were variously associated with maternal and paternal engagement and children's literacy skills across most countries. Associations between maternal and paternal social engagement and children's social skills were less clear. Data are interpreted in terms of the importance of early parental engagement relative to preschool enrollment and literacy resources in the home environment for childhood development in Caribbean countries.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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