Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth A. Sheehan


Research shows the way adults communicate with children can be classified into two main categories: Adult Directed Speech (ADS) and Infant Directed speech (IDS) (Schachner & Hannon, 2011). Past research focused on the maternal use of IDS; however, the current study investigated differences in maternal and paternal use of IDS. We hypothesize that 1) there will be a difference in the amount of paternal caregiving depending on mothers’ work status, 2) the acoustic properties of IDS will be influenced by the amount of parental involvement in caregiving activities, and 3) infants will pay more attention to parents who use more exaggerated IDS. No changes were found for paternal involvement when mothers were employed compared to when mothers were not employed. No relationships were found between IDS, parental involvement, or infants’ attention. These findings provide a better understanding of fathers’ contributions in caregiving and their influences on infants’ cognitive development.