Chinese parents’ scaffolding and children’s initiative in mother–child and father–child interactions across different types of problem-solving activities

Qi HUANG, Jin SUN, Yixuan TANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research Findings: This study examined the characteristics of mothers’ and fathers’ scaffoldings that facilitate Chinese children’s initiative-taking in different types of problem-solving activities. A sample of 96 Chinese children together with their mothers and fathers participated in this study. All children completed a worksheet, a game, and an application activity with their mothers and fathers separately. The process of parent–child interactions was videotaped. For each parent–child dyadic activity, the parent’s scaffolding behaviors were coded in terms of cognitive, emotional, and autonomy support. Occurrences of children’s self-starting, metacognition, and persistence behaviors were considered instances of the children’s initiative. Results indicated that children exhibited more initiative in the game and application activities than in the worksheet activity. More initiative was also observed among children in father–child interactions than in mother–child interactions. Only mothers’ emotional support positively predicted children’s initiative in the mother–child application activity. Notably, fathers’ cognitive and autonomy support in worksheet activity, autonomy support in game activity and cognitive support in application activity significantly predicted children’s initiative in corresponding activities. Practice or Policy: This study enriches the evidence on the important roles that mothers and fathers play in child initiative-taking and has the potential to promote programs for improving quality parenting. Copyright © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarly Education and Development
Early online date28 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2020

Citation

Huang, Q., Sun, J., & Tang, Y. (2020). Chinese parents’ scaffolding and children’s initiative in mother–child and father–child interactions across different types of problem-solving activities. Early Education and Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/10409289.2020.1752591

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