Unique Contributions of Fathering to Emerging Self Regulation in Low-Income Ethnic Minority Preschoolers

Early Child Dev Care. 2013;183(3-4):464-482. doi: 10.1080/03004430.2012.711594.


Self regulation ability is an important component of school readiness and predictor of academic success, but few studies of self regulation examine contributions of fathering to the emergence of self regulation in low-income ethnic minority preschoolers. Associations were examined between parental child-oriented parenting support and preschoolers' emerging self regulation abilities in 224 low-income African American (n=86) and Latino (n=138) children observed at age 30 months in father-child and mother-child interactions to determine unique predictions from fathering qualities. Child-oriented mothering but not fathering predicted greater simple response inhibition for both African American and Latino children. Fathering but not mothering quality uniquely predicted greater complex response inhibition, but only for the African American children. The culture-specific fathering effects could not be explained by differences in father involvement.

Keywords: ethnic-minority children; fathering; poverty; self regulation.