Research Findings: This study explores the variations in paternal play beliefs and the relation to young children’s developmental outcomes in a sample of 163 Chinese fathers of 3-year-olds (M = 38.73 months, SD = 4.91) in Shenzhen, China. The fathers completed the Chinese Parent Play Beliefs Scale (CPPBS) to report their attitudes towards play and early academics. Using a person-centered approach via latent profile analysis (LPA), this study has confirmed a two-profile model: Profile 1 – “Pragmatic Fathers,” who placed a higher value on young children’s (pre) academic behaviors, but a lower value on free play; and Profile 2 – “Hedonistic Fathers,” who placed a higher value on free play, but a lower value on (pre) academic behaviors. The two profiles were significantly associated with paternal education, paternal vocation, and children’s developmental status in the dimensions of the China Developmental Scale for Children (CDSC). Hierarchical regression analyses found that “Pragmatic Fathers” predicted better language and overall development but marginally lower gross motor skills among children, as compared with “Hedonistic Fathers,” after controlling for demographic factors and maternal rating on the CPPBS. Practice or Policy: The findings indicate a change in and the variability of Chinese fathers’ play beliefs and suggest that a balance of academic-oriented activities and free playtime should be provided for their young children at home. Copyright © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
|Journal||Early Education and Development|
|Early online date||13 Aug 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|