The salience of father-infant rough play in some industrialized and nonindustrialized countries around the world was reviewed, and data were presented on the physical play interactions of 34 Indian mothers and fathers with their year-old infants in the home. Our review of the parent-infant physical play literature failed to show that fathers had a uniformly greater propensity to engage in vigorous rough activity with infants than mothers did. The data from the observational study suggest that Indian parents are not vigorous play partners to infants. Mothers were more likely to engage in object-mediated play than were fathers. In total, the data reviewed do not support the contention that rough play is a major activity between fathers and infants across cultures. Rather, the data from parent-infant play in the nonindustrialized countries suggest that rough play may be culture specific, casting doubts about its biological underpinnings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology