The article I chose this week is called Father-Son Relationships in Ethnically Diverse Families

The article I chose this week is called Father-Son Relationships in Ethnically Diverse Families: Links To Boys’ Cognitive and Social Emotional Development in Preschool by Claire Baker (2017). The study analyzed father involvement and its relationship to their toddler’s cognitive and social emotional development in preschool. The researcher used a total of 4, 240 boys and their fathers to examine how the father’s involvement affected how they interacted in their classrooms.  The researcher collected data using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), a restricted use longitudinal study that tracked a nationally representative sample of 10,700 children born in the United States in 2001 from birth to kindergarten (Baker, 2017). This tool measure reading and math skills, the child’s engagement with parents, child’s sustained attention during play, the child ’s negativity towards parent.

I believe both theories were applied in the article because they were researching cognitive and social emotional development. The theoretical framework used was Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory, which explains that children learn best in the context of warm, responsive relationships with parents who help them acquire new cognitive and social emotional skills (Baker, 2017). The article also mentions Towe-Goodman et al. (2014) and how they found that paternal warmth/sensitivity during free play interactions at 24-months predicted children’s executive functioning (i.e., inhibitory control, working memory and attention) at 3 years of age. All three studies show developing research in children’s social and emotional development.

Theory is important in social and emotional research because it provides an explanation of the different development stages of children. It gives parents and professionals the knowledge they need to interact with children daily. Theory also shows what has been done and what needs further research.

In conclusion, Clarke-Stewart & Parke (2014) describes research in social development as satisfying curiosity of why some children become success and some do not. These are questions that parents often have when they are trying to understand the path their child has chosen. The article I read concluded the idea that fathers who help to create warm, sensitive home environments while also engaging in cognitively stimulating activities enhance children’s capacity for learning during the earliest years of school and life and father warmth and home learning stimulation positively predicted boys’ reading and math achievement (Baker, 2017).



Baker, C. E. (2017). Father-son relationships in ethnically diverse families: Links to boys’ cognitive and

social emotional development in preschool. Journal of Child and Family Studies26(8), 2335–2345.

Clarke-Stewart, A., & Parke, R.D. (2014). Social Development (2nd. ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley

Towe-Goodman, N. R., Willoughby, M., Blair, C., Gustafsson, H. C., Mills-Koonce, W. R., & Cox, M. J.

(2014). Fathers’ sensitive parenting and the development of early executive functioning. Journal of

Family Psychology, 28, 867–876.

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