Infants' Responsiveness to Fathers' Singing Academic Article uri icon

  •  
  • Overview
  •  
  • Research
  •  
  • Identity
  •  
  • Additional Document Info
  •  
  • View All
  •  

abstract

  • Fathers were recorded singing a song once to their infants and once in the absence of their infants. Adults readily identified fathers' infant-directed renditions and rated them as more rhythmic, loving, and appropriate for infants than the infant-absent renditions. Unlike mothers, however, fathers did not consistently raise the pitch of their infant-directed versions. Moreover,infants showed no preference for infant-directed over infant-absent versions unless the infant-directed versions were higher in pitch. Nevertheless, infants showed greater visual attention when listening to fathers' singing than to mothers' singing. The results confirm that a distinctive infant-directed style is used by singing fathers as well as mothers, that pitch height is a salient dimension of songs for infant listeners, and that fathers' singing in general is highly engaging to infant listeners.

publication date

  • June 1, 2001