Factors relating to fathers' direct and indirect involvement in early childhood literacy in Thika municipality, Kenya
Maina, Wanjiru Anne
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The extent of mothers and other female caregivers' involvement in emerging literacy has been investigated over the years in both developed and developing countries. In developed countries research on fathers' contribution to the child's early literacy development suggests that fathers have an important impact on child learning and academic success. In developing countries this has not been adequately investigated and documented, and research in Kenya has documented the traditional view of fathers as not being directly involved with infants and young children. The study intended to find out the extent of fathers' direct and indirect involvement in early child literacy development and identify factors that might be related to fathers' extent of involvement, including type of work, family income, and fathers' level of education, gender bias and fathers' role definition. The two guiding theories were: Holdaway's Theory of Literacy Development and the Social Development Theory by Vygotsky, The study used a descriptive research design. The site of this study was Thika Municipality within Central Province. The target population was fathers with 4-5 years old children in pre-schools. Seven schools were selected through simple random sampling. Stratified random sampling was used to select the sample of fathers. Fathers were clustered according to their nature of work. Simple random sampling was used to select the study sample from the cluster groups. Data was collected using questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for analysis. A t-Test for Related Samples was used to compare means and Pearson Chi-square used to test the relationship between the two variables. Findings from the study indicated that fathers' level of education had significant relationship on direct and indirect involvement while income was significantly related to direct involvement only. The other three factors had no significant relationship with fathers' direct or indirect involvement in their children's early literacy. Recommendations included awareness creation workshops for fathers on their important role in early literacy and further research to look into other factors that might be influencing fathers' direct and indirect involvement in literacy in the same area and another research in another metropolitan area using the same factors for comparison of results and further conclusions.