Effects of a playgroup experience on mother-son and father-son interaction

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Compared the mother-son and father-son interaction of 6 toddlers who were completely homereared with the parent-child interactions of 6 male toddlers who were participants in a daily 3-hr playgroup. Interactions were videotaped in a semistructured laboratory setting. The first observation was made immediately before the beginning of the playgroup experience, with subsequent observations being made after half of the toddlers had been in a playgroup for 3 and 6 mo. Although there were no differences in the playgroup and homecare toddlers before the playgroup experience, significant differences were found after the playgroup experience. The playgroup toddlers became proportionally more active in their parent-child interactions. They also became more responsive to the interaction initiations of their parents. Significant differences were also found in parental behavior as a function of the playgroup experience. The parents of the playgroup children became significantly less dominant. In addition, some differences were found in mother-child and father-child interaction independent of the playgroup experience. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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