Mother-child and father-child playt †

Jaipaul L. Roopnarine, Nina S. Mounts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study investigated (a) the play initiations of mothers and fathers and their preschool-aged sons‘ and daughters’ cooperativeness toward them, and (b) the relationship between parental fantasy play initiations and their children's receptive vocabulary skills. Play interaction was observed in 36 mother-father-child triads during a 10 minute laboratory session. Significant sex of parent effects were found for play initiations. Mothers were more likely to initiate fantasy and joint positive play than father but fathers were more likely to initiate rough play than mothers. Sex of child effects were rare. Children were more cooperative following the play initiations of mothers than fathers. Finally, no significant relationship was found between receptive vocabulary and parental fantasy play initiations. The data are discussed with respect to the possible benefits of play among parents and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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