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Parental psychology

            Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
             Volume 24, Issue 1, April-May 2003, Pages 75-89.
             "Parental guidance in a cooking activity with preschoolers".
             In this study they are studying guided participation of children in a cooking exercise. They were interested in the amount of parental support there was in the activity, looking at parent and child engagement in relation to children's age and the amount of support provided by parents, the amount of help the parents would give in order to make sure that their child succeeds, and seeing different strategies parents might use to help their children's performance. They expected high levels of engagement in the cooking task, overall, for both parents and children and they also predicted positive effects of parental support on levels of engagement in both parents and children. .
             Thirty-six mothers and their 3- to 6-year-old children participated. They brought a video camera and ingredients for baking chocolate chip cookies to the participants' homes. The parents provided the tools for the cooking. Also, parents were given a brief survey, as well as a questionnaire to see how frequently mothers cooked with their children, and how much they each enjoyed it. .
             They found that there were high levels of parent involvement in this activity. However they also found that parents did change the amount of help depending on the step and the age of the child. The harder the step the more help they gave and the younger the child the more help they gave. When frequency of guidance was observed they saw drastic individual differences, but they concluded that mothers provided less overall guidance but more direct help to their children during the cooking task and all the children seemed to enjoy the task. When the tested engagement levels they found that all mothers and children were highly engaged in the cooking, but parent engagement was not significantly related to parental guidance or frequency of cooking together.

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