A mixed-methods study of paternal involvement in Hong Kong

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The research reported here examined Chinese fathers’ direct interaction or engagement in children's education both at home and in preschool during the early childhood years using a Hong Kong sample in two studies. In Study 1, comparisons between father and mother involvement practices and examination of the associations between family background variables and father involvement as well as between father involvement and school readiness were conducted. In Study 2, father and teacher focus-group interviews were conducted to explore fathers’ and teachers’ beliefs and practices concerning father involvement. Consistent with previous studies, the findings showed that teachers and fathers acknowledged the importance of fathering for children's positive development as well as supportive marital relationships. While fathers were found to be involved in various educational activities both at home and in preschool, the findings showed that the influence of family background may depend on the context of fathers’ involvement. In particular, family income, parental education background, parental work status, and fathers’ perception of child and teacher invitations were found to affect fathers’ preschool-based involvement, but not fathers’ home-based involvement. Finally, father involvement, however, was not found to associate with children's school readiness. These findings are likely to contribute to the literature on father involvement regarding its determinants and influence on child outcomes during the early years in Chinese culture, drawing important implications for father education, teacher education and family policy. Copyright © 2016 British Educational Research Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1040
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Issue number6
Early online dateOct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


Lau, E. Y. H. (2016). A mixed-methods study of paternal involvement in Hong Kong. British Educational Research Journal, 42(6), 1023-1040.


  • Father involvement
  • Focus-group interviews
  • Mixed-methods approach
  • School readiness


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