Research

Why Fathers Matter to Their Children's Literacy (2009): A review

Added 25 Jul 2009

Read our review of how important fathers are to their child’s literacy practices. Research has established a clear link between parental involvement and children’s educational attainment. While most of what we know is based on mother-child interactions, increased attention has been paid to the specific influences fathers and other male caregivers have on their children’s development.

This report briefly summarises the findings from the field of father involvement that also address the issue of children’s literacy practices. Since the literature on father involvement and children’s literacy outcomes is limited with significant knowledge gaps, the focus of the paper has been broadened to encompass evidence regarding father involvement and general child outcomes.

This short overview is organised around the following areas:

  • What is the level of fathers’ involvement in their children’s literacy practices and how are fathers involved? Are mothers and fathers differently involved? Do specific types of involvement at one stage of development result in particular outcomes later in childhood or adolescence?

  • What is known about the influence of father involvement on children’s literacy practices? What is the influence of father involvement on child outcomes over and above that of mothers? And is father involvement equally beneficial to boys and girls?