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Correlates of directiveness in the interactions of fathers and mothers of children with developmental delays.

Authors
  • Girolametto, L
  • Tannock, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of speech and hearing research
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1994
Volume
37
Issue
5
Pages
1178–1191
Identifiers
PMID: 7823559
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Twenty preschool-age children with developmental delays and language impairment participated in this study, which compared fathers' and mothers' directiveness and parental stress. Similarities between fathers and mothers were found for turntaking control, response referents, and responses to the child's participation. However, fathers differed from mothers in two of the dimensions of directiveness examined: fathers used more response control and topic control than mothers. Both parents reported similarly low levels of child-related and parenting stress, but mothers perceived more stress than fathers related to the responsibilities associated with parenting a child with a handicap. Correlations between directiveness, child characteristics, and stress revealed that fathers used greater turntaking control and topic control with children who were developmentally less mature, whereas mothers used greater topic control with children who were less involved in interaction. Both fathers' and mothers' use of response control was positively related to stress. Implications for involving fathers in parent-focused intervention include screening father-child interactions before intervention, interpreting parent-child interaction styles in terms of their role in enhancing the child's social participation, and acknowledging the role of familial factors (such as stress) on interaction styles.

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