Erin Kramer Holmes, Ph.D. ’06, is a 2011 recipient of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Men-in-Families Best Research Article by a New Professional Award. Holmes’ award-winning article, “Understanding positive father-child interaction: Children’s, fathers’, and mothers’ contributions,” was published in the journal Fathering. Holmes’ co-author was Aletha Huston.
Candidates for the NCFR Best Research Article by a New Professional Award are chosen by a committee which reviews top peer-reviewed scholarly journals relevant to men in families.
Holmes and Huston analyzed the interactions of 586 married resident fathers, their wives, and their first grade child, all participants in the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development Study of Early Child Care. One of the strongest predictors of positive father-child relationships was a father’s commitment to child-centered parenting. But rather than looking simply at fathers’ attitudes or behaviors in isolation, Holmes examined how the other members of the triad, mothers and children, elucidate the father-child relationship.
“Children who are more socially skilled, and have better expressive and receptive language skills invite their fathers to participate in higher quality interaction” says Holmes. “The quality of the mother’s relationship with the same child is also among the strongest predictors of positive father-child interaction.” These findings suggest that good fathering is about fathers, children, and mothers together, not simply about fathers alone.Kram
Holmes received her Ph.D. in human development and family sciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 2006. She is currently an assistant professor of family life in the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences at Brigham Young University.