Characteristics of holding, play, and social behaviors between 54 mothers and fathers and their 1-year-old infants were observed within the context of their extended families in New Delhi, India. Mothers picked up and held infants more than did fathers, and were more likely to feed and comfort them and to invest more time feeding and displaying affection to them than were fathers. When parents held infants they were more likely to display affection than to feed, comfort, or play with them. Fathers engaged in more rough play than did mothers, and mothers engaged in more peek-a-boo than did fathers. Mothers and fathers treated boys and girls quite similarly. Infants smiled at, vocalized to, and followed mothers more than they did fathers. Parents were generally preferred over relatives as social partners. The data point to the cultural specificity of certain parent-child activities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies