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A comparative study of teacher and father perceptions of father involvement in USA and India
Shapiro, AlysonPotter, Nina Salcedo
The purpose of this study was to examine the type and extent of father involvement in their children’s early childhood education in both India and USA. This is important because research indicates that father involvement has long term effects on children’s behavioral, educational, social and emotional development. The current study utilized a cross-cultural, mixed-method design to examine both father and early childhood educator reports regarding father involvement. Participants consisted of 35 fathers (13 from the USA and 22 from India), and 32 early childhood educators (11 from the USA, 16 from India.) All participants filled out questionnaires and a subset of interested fathers also participated in qualitative interviews. Data analysis revealed several key findings. Most notably, there was a significant difference between father involvement in America and in India, with American fathers reporting more involvement in their child’s early education activities. Father involvement across cultures was associated with father emotion coaching. Analysis of the qualitative data indicated that both groups of fathers were highly motivated to be involved and to have a close bond with their children. However, Indian fathers reported more structural barriers to involvement. In particular, Indian fathers described having inflexible work schedules, that resulted in little time to spend with their children. Similarly, Indian cultural norms, which tend to be more traditional with regard to gender roles, limited Indian fathers’ ability to be as involved as they wished to be. In contrast, American fathers reported that they used tag-teaming as a parenting approach to parent their young children. The results have implications promoting parent emotion coaching as well as school, workplace, and governmental policies to support father involvement across cultures. Keywords: Father Involvement, Early Childhood Education, Emotion Coaching, USA, India, Cross-Cultural
Child and Family Development
San Diego State University
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2019
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