Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Date of this Version



Published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly 53 (2020) 77–85

DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2020.03.005


Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. Used by permission.


Co-parenting quality has frequently been linked to young children’s social–emotional functioning, but limited research has focused on the relationship between co-parenting and children’s early academic skills, or the underlying mechanisms through which co-parenting influences children’s development. Using data collected from urban China, the present study examined how fathers’ perceptions of co-parenting quality was related to their preschool-aged children’s academic readiness (i.e., receptive vocabulary, reading, early math; N = 336), and whether father’s parenting practices and children’s behavioral regulation mediated the link between co-parenting quality and child outcomes. Findings suggested that the relation between co-parenting quality and children’s academic readiness was mediated by children’s behavioral regulation. However, fathers’ parenting practices were not related to children’s academic readiness, nor did fathers’ parenting practices mediate the relations between co-parenting and child outcomes. The present findings were consistent between boys and girls. That is, the mediating process did not differ as a function of child gender. The study highlights the importance of fostering a quality co-parenting relationship to better support children’s development of behavioral regulation and academic readiness.