, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 123-126

Parent’s Time with Children: Does Time Matter for Children’s Cognitive Achievement?

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The time parents spend with children is the central construct in theories of child development and human capital formation. According to human capital theory, the amount of time parents spend with children can be seen as crucial inputs in the production of child wellbeing (Becker 1981). Parent-child interactions create social capital, or the social interactions that facilitate the intergenerational transmission of knowledge and skills (Coleman 1988). Conversely, theories in developmental psychology contend that long periods of daily separation, particularly during early childhood, can be disruptive, leaving parents less sensitive and responsive to their children’s needs, thus leaving children less exposed to the stimulation necessary for their cognitive development (Vaughn et al. 1980; Belsky 2001).

More importantly, the literature points to key disparities in the quantity and type of parent child interactions—the verbal interactions and the type of activities performed together, for ex