Parental toy play and toddlers' socio-emotional development: The moderating role of coparenting dynamics

Infant Behav Dev. 2020 Aug;60:101465. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2020.101465. Epub 2020 Jul 15.


This study examined the moderating role of coparenting supportiveness in the association between parental toy play and toddlers' socio-emotional development. Seventy-seven triads (mother, father, toddler) participated in the study. Coparenting dynamics and parental toy play were observed during family interaction and toddlers' socio-emotional development was reported by mothers. Results indicated that maternal toy play was positively associated with toddlers' socio-emotional development but only when this interaction occurred within a supportive coparenting context. No significant associations were observed between fathers' toy play and toddlers' socio-emotional development. This study highlights the critical role played by family dynamics in parent-child play interaction.

Keywords: Coparenting; Socio-emotional; Toddler; Toy-play; Triadic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Family Relations / psychology*
  • Fathers / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Play and Playthings / psychology*
  • Social Change*
  • Young Adult