Linking Chinese mothers’ and fathers’ scaffolding with children's initiative and mathematics performance: A moderated mediation model

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Abstract

Many studies have shown a positive link between mothers’ scaffolding and children's mathematics performance. However, the mechanism driving the link, and whether mothers’ and fathers’ scaffoldings relate to children's mathematics performance similarly or differentially are currently not well understood. This study examined whether child initiative mediated the association between parental scaffolding and children's mathematics performance, and whether the co-parent's scaffolding moderated the mediating effect of child initiative on the associations. Participants were 96 two-parent Chinese families with children aged 5–6 years (47 girls). All children completed 2 math-related activities with their mothers and fathers, separately. Mother-child and father-child interactions in math-related activities were videotaped. Parental scaffolding was coded from the aspects of parents' cognitive, emotional, and autonomy support. Occurrences of children's self-starting, metacognition, or persistent behaviors were coded as children's initiative. Children's mathematics performance was assessed individually with the Test of Early Mathematics Ability–Third Edition (TEMA-3). Results showed that children's initiative only mediated the relationship between fathers’ scaffolding and children's mathematics performance. Mothers’ scaffolding was found to be a moderator in the relationship between fathers’ scaffolding and children's initiative in father-child interactions. This suggests that high levels of maternal scaffolding function as a facilitator, improving the positive link between paternal scaffolding and children's initiative, which in turn contributes to children's mastery of mathematics. These results highlight the important roles of both parents’ scaffoldings and child initiative in children's mathematics learning. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-83
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Volume59
Early online date12 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Citation

Huang, Q., Sun, J., Lau, E. Y. H., & Zhou, Y.-L. (2022). Linking Chinese mothers’ and fathers’ scaffolding with children's initiative and mathematics performance: A moderated mediation model. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 59, 74-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2021.11.001

Keywords

  • Parental scaffolding
  • Child initiative
  • Early mathematics performance

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