Health and Clinical Psychology Research Group Seminar
The Father-Child Play study – an inter-disciplinary behavioural research project
Drs Jennifer StGeorge, Linda Campbell, Emily Freeman
Ms Taylor Hadlow, Katie Rolfe
Date: 11th October
Place: Keats Reading Room (AVLG17), Callaghan (video to Ourimbah)
Given the increased paternal involvement in developed countries, it is becoming important to understand the positive and differential contributions that fathers make to children’s development. Fathers’ time with children peaks in toddlerhood and often takes the form of play-based interactions. Play is known to have a significant impact on a child’s development and fathers’ play has been linked to child-father attachment relationships and children’s social competence. There is now increasing international interest in the nature of fathers’ play and its short- and long-term influence on child development. The purpose of this symposium is to introduce the Australian Father-Child Play study, a longitudinal collaborative project between UON researchers in the School of Health Sciences and the School of Psychology. The project team consists of four Chief Investigators, five M Clin Psych students, and six volunteers from B Psych and B Occ Therapy. The investigators and students will discuss the motivation for studying fathers’ play, the study objectives and innovation in methods, alongside results from student theses. M Clin Psych student Katie Rolfe will present the preliminary results of the most recent analysis, the associations between play, father stress and reported child behaviour problems. Implications for health professionals suggest that research on paternal functions provides an opportunity to complement and extend current practices.