Play Beliefs and Responsive Parenting Among Low-Income Mothers of Preschoolers in the United States

LaForett, D. R., & Mendez, J. L.

From the abstract: "This study examined associations between parents’ developmentally appropriate beliefs about young children’s play and responsive parenting. Low-income parents and their children enrolled in Head Start programmes (n = 231) in the United States participated in the study. Responsive parenting skills (characterized by high levels of warmth and responsiveness, and lower levels of hostility) were related to parents’ beliefs endorsing play as valuable (Play Support) for promoting preschool children’s social skills and school readiness. Additionally, higher levels of parent depression were negatively associated with Play Support beliefs while higher levels of parent efficacy were positively associated. Parent education showed a positive relation with Play Support beliefs and a negative relationship with beliefs regarding focusing on academic readiness of children without playful learning (Academic Focus). Implications for understanding play-based approaches for promoting children’s developmental outcomes within early childhood programmes and family interventions are discussed."

Citation: LaForett, D. R., & Mendez, J. L. (2016). Play beliefs and responsive parenting among low-income mothers of preschoolers in the United States. Early Child Development and Care, 1-13.
DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1169180