Importance of fathers' parenting to African-American toddler's social and cognitive development

Michelle L. Kelley, Tammy S. Smith, Arlene P. Green, Andrea E. Berndt, Melissa C. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The present study examined the degree to which parenting attitudes and behavior (i.e., self-reported warmth, restrictiveness, and behavioral sensitivity as assessed during a freeplay session) were related to toddlers' development. Results showed a restrictive attitude was negatively related to social and cognitive development, whereas paternal sensitivity was positively related to aspects of social development that are less dependent on language skills (e.g., motor and daily living skills). Fathers of girls exhibited greater sensitivity in their freeplay interactions than fathers of boys. More globally, the present research demonstrates important relations between the parenting attitudes and behavior of low- to working-income African-American fathers and young children's development, and similarities to White, middle-income fathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)733-744
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • African-American fathers
  • Sociocognitive development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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