Correlates of Directiveness in the Interactions of Fathers and Mothers of Children With Developmental Delays Twenty preschool-age children with developmental delays and language impairment participated in this study, which compared fathers’ and mothers’ directiveness and parental stress. Similarities between fathers and mothers were found for turntaking control, response referents, and responses to the child’s participation. However, fathers differed from mothers in two of the dimensions ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1994
Correlates of Directiveness in the Interactions of Fathers and Mothers of Children With Developmental Delays
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Luigi Girolametto
    The University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • Rosemary Tannock
    The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario
  • Contact author: Luigi Girolametto, Graduate Department of Speech Pathology, Tanz Neuroscience Building, University of Toronto, 6 Queen’s Park Crescent West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1A8. E-mail: girolametto@medac.med.utoronto.ca
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1994
Correlates of Directiveness in the Interactions of Fathers and Mothers of Children With Developmental Delays
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1994, Vol. 37, 1178-1191. doi:10.1044/jshr.3705.1178
History: Received July 6, 1993 , Accepted April 27, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1994, Vol. 37, 1178-1191. doi:10.1044/jshr.3705.1178
History: Received July 6, 1993; Accepted April 27, 1994

Twenty preschool-age children with developmental delays and language impairment participated in this study, which compared fathers’ and mothers’ directiveness and parental stress. Similarities between fathers and mothers were found for turntaking control, response referents, and responses to the child’s participation. However, fathers differed from mothers in two of the dimensions of directiveness examined: fathers used more response control and topic control than mothers. Both parents reported similarly low levels of child-related and parenting stress, but mothers perceived more stress than fathers related to the responsibilities associated with parenting a child with a handicap. Correlations between directiveness, child characteristics, and stress revealed that fathers used greater turntaking control and topic control with children who were developmentally less mature, whereas mothers used greater topic control with children who were less involved in interaction. Both fathers’ and mothers’ use of response control was positively related to stress. Implications for involving fathers in parent-focused intervention include screening father-child interactions before intervention, interpreting parent-child interaction styles in terms of their role in enhancing the child’s social participation, and acknowledging the role of familial factors (such as stress) on interaction styles.

Acknowledgments
This study was sponsored by the Ministry of Community and Social Services, Ontario, in cooperation with the Ontario Mental Health Foundation, funded by the “interprovincial” Lottery Research Program. The second author was supported in part by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation. We thank Ayala Manolson (The Hanen Parent Program), Mary Anne Witzel (Department of Communication Disorders, The Hospital for Sick Children), and Ruth Gannon (speech-language pathology & audiology, Hugh MacMillan Medical Centre) for making this study possible. The contributions of Mary Lou King and Lorna Chung (research assistants) are gratefully acknowledged. Above all, we are deeply appreciative of the participation of the fathers, mothers, and their children.
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