A comparison of motor behaviors, interaction, and playfulness during mother-child and father-child play with children with motor delay.Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2006; 26(1-2):129-51.PO
The purpose of this investigation was to compare motor behavior, parent-child interactions, and child's playfulness during mother-child and father-child play with children with motor delay. Play sessions of 20 children (ages 7 to 36 months) and their parents were videotaped in the families' homes. Interval recording was used to measure the children's motor behaviors, the parents' handling/positioning, and the children's position of play. The Maternal Behavior Rating Scale and the Test of Playfulness were used to measure the parents' interactive behaviors and children's playfulness, respectively. Mean differences were analyzed using paired t-tests. Children demonstrated similar occurrence of motor behaviors and degree of playfulness when playing with their mothers and their fathers. Mothers and fathers had similar occurrence of carrying their children, using adaptive positioning equipment, and manually positioning their children. Fathers held their children on their lap for a greater proportion of the play intervals compared with mothers. Mothers were more responsive than fathers during the play sessions but both parents demonstrated similar achievement orientation, affect/animation, and directiveness. Children's playfulness was related to their developmental abilities and to parents' responsiveness. Therapists are encouraged to consider the interactive styles of both parents, capitalize on the unique strengths of each parent and child, and partner with parents to promote interactions with their children and children's playfulness.