Australian researchers at the University of Newcastle have undertaken a study of the boisterous play between fathers and their four-year olds.
The research is led by Dr. Richard Fletcher, the leader of the University's Fathers and Families Research Program and the Convenor of the Australian Fatherhood Research Network.
Dr. Fletcher claims that although there is evidence that the rough physical play helps in a child's early development, "What we don't know is what it is about the play that helps physical development. What we don't know is if these activities have an impact on how children learn to manage their emotions and their physical energy. We know between three and five, children make this crucial development step where they become able to plan what they do and direct their movements, instead of re-acting and relying on adults."
The study involves University researchers visiting the home of participants and filming the father and child at play. They would also play learning games with the four-year olds to measure skill-levels and behaviours.
One father, Kyp Kypri who wants to have a part in the study with his four-year old daughter, Bonita, has this to say:
''I'm very interested in the idea that the way fathers play with their children matters a great deal for the children's development."