Date of Award
Honors Thesis Number
This study examined the differences in interactions between mothers and fathers with their infants. Videotaped segments of parent-infant dyads (thirty mothers and thirty fathers) were examined. Four interaction areas were looked at specifically --(1) respect for autonomy/cognitive growth fostering, (2) quality of instruction, (3) enthusiasm for interaction with parent/responsiveness to parent, and (4) task orientation. These interactions were chosen from reviews of past literature that showed mothers to be more task oriented and fathers to be more playful. A fifth factor, warmth, was also explored. It was found that parents differed significantly on task orientation, with infants being more oriented when working with their mothers. Similarly, fathers were found to score higher on the scale for warmth.