Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Christopher J. Trentacosta


Predictors of father involvement (FI) were examined. Associations between learning encouragement (LE) and socioemotional support (SS) in relation to later school readiness outcomes were examined. A subsample of residential fathers (n = 6150) from the ECLS-B was used. Hierarchical linear regressions and conceptual path analysis were used to conduct statistical analyses. Child sex, paternal employment, and the mother-father relationship were significant predictors of LE at 9 months. The mother-father relationship predicted LE at 2 years and SS at 9 months. LE at 9 months was a significant predictor of academic readiness indicators at preschool. LE at 2 years significantly predicted all school readiness indicators except expressive language, after controlling for LE at 9 months. Father SS at 9 months was a significant predictor of socioemotional competence ratings at preschool. Path analyses and associated indirect effects confirmed results from regression analyses of main predictors' association with school readiness outcomes as mediated by LE and SS. Significant indirect pathways leading to each school readiness outcome was found for the main predictors, except for Math scores as predicted by child sex. This study showed support for a theoretical framework for FI, as well as mechanisms that both lead to FI and that are affected by it.