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Abstract

The current study investigated the relationship between mother-child interaction quality and infants’ ability to interpret actions as goal-directed at 7 months in a sample of 37 dyads. Interaction quality was assessed in a free play interaction using two distinct methods, one assessed the overall affective quality (emotional availability), and one focused on the mother’s proclivity to treat her infant as an intentional agent (mind-mindedness). Furthermore, infants’ ability to interpret human actions as goal-directed was assessed. Analyses revealed that only maternal emotional availability, and not maternal mind-mindedness, was related to infants’ goal encoding ability. This link remained stable even when controlling for child temperament, working memory, and maternal education. These findings provide first evidence that emotionally available caregiving promotes social-cognitive development in preverbal infants.

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... More recently, Licata et al. (2014) reported a study that partly parallels ours, but with 7-month-olds. These authors had 37 infants participate in Woodward's intention-understanding looking-time task (e.g., Woodward, 1998) and then videotaped mother-infant interaction in a 10-min free play episode. ...
... EA was a significant predictor of children's looking-time performances. Licata et al. (2014) concluded that EA captured general mother-infant interaction quality; thus combining their findings with ours, the quality of mother-infant interaction significantly relates to infant intention understanding as measured in looking-time tasks for 7-, 10-, 11-, and 12month-olds. Interestingly, both we (Dunphy-Lelii et al., 2014) and Licata et al. (2014) also collected measures of maternalmind-mindedness (Meins et al., 2003) from the free-play interactions, and in neither study did mind-mindedness predict infants' looking-time intention understanding. ...
... Licata et al. (2014) concluded that EA captured general mother-infant interaction quality; thus combining their findings with ours, the quality of mother-infant interaction significantly relates to infant intention understanding as measured in looking-time tasks for 7-, 10-, 11-, and 12month-olds. Interestingly, both we (Dunphy-Lelii et al., 2014) and Licata et al. (2014) also collected measures of maternalmind-mindedness (Meins et al., 2003) from the free-play interactions, and in neither study did mind-mindedness predict infants' looking-time intention understanding. ...
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Contemporary research, often with looking-time tasks, reveals that infants possess foundational understandings of their social worlds. However, few studies have examined how these early social cognitions relate to the child’s social interactions and behavior in early development. Does an early understanding of the social world relate to how an infant interacts with his or her parents? Do early social interactions along with social-cognitive understandings in infancy predict later preschool social competencies? In the current paper, we propose a theory in which children’s later social behaviors and their understanding of the social world depend on the integration of early social understanding and experiences in infancy. We review several of our studies, as well as other research, that directly examine the pathways between these competencies to support a hypothesized network of relations between social-cognitive development and social-interactive behaviors in the development from infancy to childhood. In total, these findings reveal differences in infant social competences that both track the developmental trajectory of infants’ understanding of people over the first years of life and provide external validation for the large body of social-cognitive findings emerging from laboratory looking-time paradigms.
... Lower levels of prenatal PRF characterize high-risk compared to low-risk primiparous mothers (Smaling et al., 2016). Similarly, studies have reported that higher rates of appropriate MM, reflecting better parental mentalization, are associated with sensitive, structured, non-intrusive maternal behavior (Licata et al., 2014), which in turn, predict toddlers' secure attachment at age 15 months (Laranjo et al., 2008) and theory of mind (ToM) at 24 months (Laranjo et al., 2010). More appropriate MM comments correlate strongly and positively with mothers' synchronous behavior with their 6-month-old infants, which then predict infants' secure attachment at 16 months of age (Lundy, 2003). ...
... Appropriate maternal MM rates, reflecting the mother's on-line, verbally expressed, accurate interpretation of her 3-month-old infant's mental states, predicted mother-infant dyadic reciprocity. This finding accords with previous studies showing longitudinal and cross sectional associations between mind mindedness and favorable parenting (Laranjo et al., 2008;Licata et al., 2014;Lundy, 2003;Meins, 2013). The novelty of our findings is their focus on very young infants. ...
Article
We examined the links between mothers’ prenatal attachment dimensions, parental mentalization and mother-infant relational patterns. The sample consisted of 68 mother-infant dyads. During pregnancy, mothers reported on attachment-related anxiety and avoidance. When the infants were three months old, the mothers’ parental reflective functioning (PRF) was assessed via the PDI-R2-S interview. Mothers-infant free play interactions were coded for maternal sensitivity and dyadic reciprocity and mothers’ utterances were coded for appropriate and non-attuned mind-mindedness (MM). Prenatal attachment anxiety was associated with less appropriate MM. Appropriate MM was associated with maternal sensitivity and mother-infant dyadic reciprocity. The models predicting maternal sensitivity and dyadic reciprocity from dimensions of the mothers’ prenatal anxiety/avoidance attachment, mediated by their PRF, appropriate and non-attuned MM, were significant. Univariate analyses revealed a significant direct link only between appropriate MM and mother-infant dyadic reciprocity. We discuss these results as well as the differences between the PRF and MM constructs.
... The emergence of new technical advances restored movement (alongside sound) to its glorious past in developmental research. Using technological advances to capture and analyze movement, Brand et al. (2002), Koterba andIverson (2009), andLicata et al. (2014) examined the movement of mothers when interacting with infants eight months and older from an action-to-goal perspective (like grasping an object), finding they modify them. They coined the term "motionese" to address the modification and simplification of gestures, actions, or signs used by adults while interacting with infants or toddlers. ...
Chapter
When adults interact with babies, they do special things. In this chapter, through a microanalysis of interaction scenes between an adult and a 7-month-old baby, we describe the infant-directed improvised performance. The aesthetic perspective assumed led us to continue the path initiated by others, evidencing remarkable structural and functional affinities between these kinds of encounters between adults and infants and the temporal arts. The infant-directed improvised performances are sound-kinetic phrases improvised by the adult through resources also used in temporal art performances, like the repetition-variation form. Adults create brief motifs collected from the baby’s behavior or contingencies in the surroundings and repeat them in varied forms. In this chapter, we specify the temporal, energetic, and spatial dimensions of these variations through the use of analytical tools developed for the exegesis of artistic expression. Interesting events occur in infant-directed improvised performance: adults summon infants to social life, offer them well-formed behavioral units favoring their recognition, and interpret the world for infants, regulating their moods. They also illuminate cognitive structures such as image schemas and invite infants to experience primary metaphors. By virtue of performances, babies are also initiated into corporeal and aesthetic enculturation.KeywordsInfant-directed improvised performancePrimary metaphorsImage schemasTemporal artsExpressive resourcesImprovisation
... To assess reliability, a second observer coded each video again from the videotaped record. Only infants for whom an interobserver correlation of 0.9 or more was achieved were included (see Licata et al., 2014, for details on inclusion criteria). ...
Article
Developmental continuity between infants’ understanding of intentional agency (goals, beliefs, desires) and young children’s attributions of moral intentions was studied in a 4-year longitudinal study (N = 77 children). First, goal-encoding at the age of seven months and implicit false belief understanding at 18 months were predictive of children’s understanding of an accidental transgressor’s moral intentions at the age of five years. Second, 24-month-olds’ understanding of subjective desires was predictive of understanding the accidental transgressor’s false belief at five years. These correlations remained significant when controlling for gender and verbal IQ. These findings support the theory that an early understanding of intentional agency is foundational for moral cognition in childhood.
... Thus, infants of sensitive caregivers may help their infants practice goal-directed attention, thereby facilitating the development of endogenous control in everyday life. Second, and in keeping with views expressed by Licata et al. (2013), infants of sensitive primary caregivers may also be "more free" to explore their cognitive environment, as they are likely to experience comparatively fewer demands on internal emotional regulation, a process that sensitive mothers facilitate during the infancy period. Third, at the biological level, maternal sensitivity is associated with stress hormones (Atkinson et al., 2013) that influence the PFC cortex (McKlveen, Myers, & Herman, 2015) and may shape PFC connectivity patterns (Rifkin-Graboi et al., 2015). ...
Article
Despite claims concerning biological mechanisms sub-serving infant attention, little experimental work examines its underpinnings. This study examines how candidate polymorphisms from the cholinergic (CHRNA4 rs1044396) and dopaminergic (COMT rs4680) systems, respectively indicative of parietal and prefrontal/anterior cingulate involvement, are related to 6-month-olds’ (n = 217) performance during a visual expectation eye-tracking paradigm. As previous studies suggest that both cholinergic and dopaminergic genes may influence susceptibility to the influence of other genetic and environmental factors, we further examined whether these candidate genes interact with one another and/or with early caregiving experience in predicting infants’ visual attention. We detected an interaction between CHRNA4 genotype and observed maternal sensitivity upon infants’ orienting to random stimuli and a CHRNA4-COMT interaction effect upon infants’ orienting to patterned stimuli. Consistent with adult research, we observed a direct effect of COMT genotype on anticipatory looking to patterned stimuli. Findings suggest that CHRNA4 genotype may influence susceptibility to other attention-related factors in infancy. These interactions may account for the inability to establish a link between CHRNA4 and orienting in infant research to date, despite developmental theorizing suggesting otherwise. Moreover, findings suggest that by 6 months, dopamine, and relatedly, the prefrontal cortex/anterior cingulate, may be important to infant attention.
... Stern (1985) defines such emotional interactions as a "reflection" or "empathic correspondence" of the caregiver toward the children's expressions of affection. In general, mothers are able to pick up on the needs of the child, to adapt to them by stimulating them and considering the age and the degree of involvement in the interaction (Bornstein, Haynes, O'Reilly, & Painter, 1996;Leclère et al., 2014;Licata et al., 2014;Venuti, Gnisci, Marcone, & Senese, 2001). In this early phase, one can speak of "synchrony" when the mother is able to negotiate the relationship with behaviors focused on respecting and adjusting the other's time (Gratier, 2003;Im-Bolter, Anam, & Cohen, 2015;Jaffe, Beebe, Feldstein, Crown, Jasnow, Rochat, & Stern, 2001;Malloch, 2000;Miall & Dissanayake, 2003). ...
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This article discusses the first development of communicative interaction between mother and child, by analyzing the connection between expression and smile. A total of 13 mother–child dyads, recruited at the moment of admission to hospital, participated in the study. Observations have been made when the children were 3, 6, and 9 months old. Mother and child were put in front of each other, and the mother was asked to play freely with her child using a set of toys. The sequential codification of the mother’s and the child’s behaviors (occurrence and duration) was encoded by two independent observers. Occurrences and durations were analyzed to verify the increase of the interactive dyadic exchange along the three follow-ups. The results highlight an increase in synchronic behaviors in the dyad as the child’s age increases, showing the circularity of the dyadic interaction: Mothers increase the occurrences of contingent responses and children increase their competences regarding emotional regulations.
... The EA Clinical Screener is an index of clinical relevance, which is assigned based on the overall interaction and describes the adult-child relationship on a 0-100 scale, giving a measure of relational risk: Scores between 100 and 81 indicate a healthy and emotionally available relationship (Emotionally Available); scores between 70 and 61 refer to a complicated relationship characterized by inconsistent adult and child behavior, such as pseudo-sensitivity in the adult, and negative attention seeking behaviors, dependency or overconnection in the child (Complicated Emotional Availability); scores between 60 and 41 indicate an avoidant relationship (Emotionally Unavailable/Detached); scores between 40 and 1 identify a very problematic, possibly traumatized relationship (Problematic/Disturbed) (Biringen, 2008). In line with literature (Licata et al., 2014(Licata et al., , 2016Baker et al., 2015) we used the Clinical Screener scores as a continuous variable, to assess the global level of mother-child emotional availability during play. ...
Article
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Introduction: Although preterm birth represents a risk factor for early mother-infant interactions, few studies have focused on toddlerhood, an important time for the development of symbolic play, autonomous skills, and child's socialization competences. Moreover, no study has looked at the effect of birth weight on mother-child interactions during this period. Expanding on the available literature on prematurity, the main objective of this study was to explore the quality of mother-toddler interactions during play, using a longitudinal research design, as well as taking into account the effect of birth weight. Method: 16 Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW), 24 Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW), 25 full-term children, and their mothers were recruited for the present study. Mother-child dyads were evaluated at 18, 24, and 30 months of child age. Ten minutes of mother-child play interaction were recorded and later coded according to the Emotional Availability Scales (EAS). Furthermore, the child's level of development was assessed through the Griffiths Scale, and its contribution controlled for. Results: ELBW dyads showed an overall lower level of emotional availability, compared to VLBW and full-term dyads, but no main effect of birth weight was found on specific EA dimensions. Moreover, a significant effect of child age emerged. Overall scores, and Child Responsiveness and Involvement scores improved over time, independently of birth weight. Lastly, a significant effect of the interaction between birth weight and child age was found. Between 18 and 30 months, the overall quality of the interaction significantly increased in ELBW and VLBW dyads. Additionally, between 18 and 30 months, VLBW children significantly improved their responsiveness, while their mothers' sensitivity, structuring, and non-intrusive behaviors improved. In contrast, no change emerged in full-term dyads, although scores were consistently higher than those of the other groups. Discussion: Birth weight affects the quality of mother-toddler interactions. Monitoring the relational patterns of preterm dyads during toddlerhood is important, especially in the case of ELBW children.
... In that framework, Negayama et al. (2015) analyzed the intersubjective bodily involvement between adult and infant in daily actions in Scottish and Japanese mothers with their infants between six and nine months of age and found cultural differences in the intersubjective movement keys. In another framework, Brand, Baldwin and Ashburn (2002), Koterba andIverson (2009) andLicata et al. (2014) found that, in their interactions with infants over eight months of age, the mothers modify and simplify their movements. These modifications could help the infants to understand human target-oriented action. ...
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An interpretative review of research on adult-infant interactions involving the analysis of movement behaviors is presented, systematically linking previous studies to current research on the subject. Forty-two articles analyzing the dyad's interactive movement in the period 1970-2015 were found. Twelve papers were excluded, including only those that studied the phenomenon in the baby's first year of life. The results revealed that movement was a central topic in early interaction studies in the 70s. In the 1980's and 1990's, its study was marginal and it is currently resurging under the embodiment perspective. The conceptual framework and research methods used in the pioneering work are presented, and the thematic foci shared with current research are highlighted. Thus, essential keys are provided for the updated study of early interactions from a multimodal perspective.
... In particular, maternal EA has been linked to child attachment security [4][5][6] . Moreover, longitudinal studies have shown that high EA predicts better emotion regulation [7] , lower rates of psychopathological symptoms [6,8] , higher social competence [9] , better language skills and general mental development [10] , and better theory of mind (ToM) skills in children [11] . Thus, several empirical findings underline the huge significance of high maternal EA for healthy child development. ...
Article
Background/aims: High maternal emotional availability (EA) positively affects various domains of child development. However, the question of which factors promote or hinder maternal EA has not been investigated systematically. The present study investigated several maternal characteristics, namely maternal psychopathology, maternal attachment style insecurity, and theory of mind (ToM) as possible factors that influence maternal EA. Methods: The sample was comprised of 56 mothers and their preschool-aged children. Half of the mothers were diagnosed with postpartum depression and or anxiety disorders according to DSM-IV, and the other half were healthy controls. Results: The results showed that both low maternal attachment style insecurity and high ToM skills significantly predicted maternal EA sensitivity, independently from maternal postpartum and concurrent psychopathology and education. Moreover, maternal attachment style insecurity fully mediated the link between maternal postpartum psychopathology and sensitivity. Conclusion: The findings suggest that maternal attachment style security can buffer negative effects of maternal psychopathology on maternal sensitivity in the mother-child interaction.
... Furthermore, parenting behaviours have been shown to influence other early emerging social characteristics of infants. For example, Licata, Paulus, Thoermer, Kristen, Woodward, and Sodian (2014) showed that maternal emotional availability predicted 7-monthold infants' social cognition (i.e., interpretation of actions as goal-directed). The most poignant evidence for the influence of culturally varying parenting practices on children's self-regulation comes from a study performed by Keller et al. (2004). ...
Article
Temperament refers to individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation and is influenced by genetic and experiential variation and maturation. Temperament reflects biologically based individual differences that emerge in early life and remain relatively stable thereafter. Given the growing interest in cultural variation in infant temperament, this study examined the temperament of 12-month-old children in Chile and the US. The aims were to validate a version of the Infant Behavior Questionnaire – Revised – Very Short Form in Spanish for Chile and to compare Chilean and US infants’ temperament. For the first aim, 150 Chilean infants aged 10–15 months were assessed, and 73 US infants aged 10–15 months were examined for the second aim. The children's parents completed a demographic questionnaire and the IBQ-R-VSF, which measures three dimensions of temperament: Surgency, Negative Affectivity, and Effortful Control. The reliability of each dimension for the Chilean sample was between 0.70 and 0.75, and significant differences between Chilean and US infants emerged. Parents of Chilean infants reported higher levels of Effortful Control, whereas US parents reported that their infants exhibited higher levels of Negative Affectivity. A relationship between parents’ higher educational level and infants’ higher levels of Surgency was found for both countries. No gender or age differences were observed for any of the three temperament dimensions. These results and their implications for cultural studies are discussed.
... Moll et al. (2007) demonstrated that 14-month-old infants had stronger recognition of the goal of an agent if they had engaged directly with an experimenter as opposed to watching that experimenter have an interaction with another person. Others have shown that mother-infant interaction style can have an influence on the age at which infants are able to demonstrate goal attribution (Hohenberger et al., 2012;Licata et al., 2014). The infant's own part in influencing the goal directed actions of others is clearest when considering that in the early months of life (and to a lesser extent into the toddler years) the goal-directed actions most frequently observed by an infant will feature the infant themselves as the target of that action (picking up, feeding, diaper change, dressing, etc.). ...
Article
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Recognizing that the object-directed actions of others are governed by goals and intentions is a crucial component of human interaction. These actions often occur rapidly and without explanation, yet we learn from and predict the actions of others with remarkable speed and accuracy, even during the first year of life. This review paper will serve as a bridge between several disparate literatures that, we suggest, can each contribute to our understanding of how infants interpret action. Specifically, we provide a review not just of research on infant goal attribution per se, but also incorporate findings from studies on the mirror neuron system and infant object cognition. The integration of these various research approaches allows for a novel construal of the extents and limits of early goal attribution -- one in which the importance of the entire action context is considered -- and points to specific future research directions.
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
Kline presents an excellent synthesis of teaching theory and research, with cogent arguments regarding its prevalence. In this, she claims that “active teaching” is human specific, and presents tangible reasons why. But in doing so, she overlooks a critical aspect of the human condition that may have arisen only recently in our evolutionary history: Childhood as a life stage. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14000545 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9758706,author = {Nielsen,Mark and Shipton,Ceri},title = {Childhood and the evolution of higher-effort teaching},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {38},month = {1},year = {2015},issn = {1469-1825},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X14000545},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X14000545},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Childhood and the evolution of higher-effort teaching Mark Nielsen and Ceri Shipton (2015). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 38 , January 2015e52 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9758706 The code will display like this Childhood and the evolution of higher-effort teaching Mark Nielsen and Ceri Shipton (2015) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 38, January 2015e52 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X14000545 Mark Nielsen and Ceri Shipton (2015). Childhood and the evolution of higher-effort teaching. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e52 doi:10.1017/S0140525X14000545 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
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How far can teaching methods go to enhance learning? Optimal methods of teaching have been considered in research on supervised and unsupervised learning. Locally optimal methods are usually hybrids of teaching and self-directed approaches. The costs and benefits of specific methods have been shown to depend on the structure of the learning task, the learners, the teachers, and the environment. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14000612 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9758758,author = {Shafto,Michael G. and Seifert,Colleen M.},title = {Teacher and learner: Supervised and unsupervised learning in communities},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {38},month = {1},year = {2015},issn = {1469-1825},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X14000612},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X14000612},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Teacher and learner: Supervised and unsupervised learning in communities Michael G. Shafto and Colleen M. Seifert (2015). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 38 , January 2015e64 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9758758 The code will display like this Teacher and learner: Supervised and unsupervised learning in communities Michael G. Shafto and Colleen M. Seifert (2015) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 38, January 2015e64 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X14000612 Michael G. Shafto and Colleen M. Seifert (2015). Teacher and learner: Supervised and unsupervised learning in communities. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e64 doi:10.1017/S0140525X14000612 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
... Contact with and caring for the infant facilitates mother-infant attachment, as does the infant's increasing responsiveness to care giving (7). Becoming a mother creates significant coping complications for most women and is of particular responsibility to healthcare providers (8,9). ...
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Background Becoming a mother is one of the most important life changing events that a woman experience. The birth of very-low-birth-weight preterm infants imposes many challenges for the mothers. There is insufficient information regarding the mothers' experiences on the process of becoming a mother when their preterm infants are in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The aim of this study was to investigate the barriers of parenting in mothers with a very low- birth- weight preterm infant, and their coping strategies. Materials and Methods This study was carried out in a major neonatal care center in Urmia located in North West of Iran based on qualitative approach and by focusing on content analysis. Eighteen mothers were observed and interviewed while their infants were in NICU. The interviews were recorded and printed out. The data were analyzed according to Graneheim and Lund man. MAXQDA2007 was applied to manage the data. Results The participants' experience indicated that they experienced barriers in becoming a mother, so they use some strategies to cope with this situation. Merging the "barriers of parenting" and "applied strategies" resulted in extracting a category which was called "establishment of communication". Each category included subcategories. Conclusion It seems that there is an urgent need for healthcare professionals to be sensitive to the need of mothers regarding mothering process with consideration to culture as a bridge to facilitate the new role as a mother.
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
An evolutionary framework on human teaching is not well equipped to explain the nature of human teaching unless it specifies the subserving cognitive and motivational mechanisms. Only a theory that speculates on the psychological processes provides testable predictions and stimulates further empirical research. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14000569 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9758746,author = {Paulus,Markus and Kim,Sunae and Sodian,Beate},title = {Clarifying the range of social-cognitive processes subserving human teaching},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {38},month = {1},year = {2015},issn = {1469-1825},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X14000569},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X14000569},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Clarifying the range of social-cognitive processes subserving human teaching Markus Paulus,Sunae Kim and Beate Sodian (2015). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 38 , January 2015e55 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9758746 The code will display like this Clarifying the range of social-cognitive processes subserving human teaching Markus Paulus, Sunae Kim and Beate Sodian (2015) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 38, January 2015e55 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X14000569 Markus Paulus, Sunae Kim and Beate Sodian (2015). Clarifying the range of social-cognitive processes subserving human teaching. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e55 doi:10.1017/S0140525X14000569 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
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Focus on the way in which cultural variants affect other variants' probabilities of transmission in modeling and empirical work can enrich Kline's conceptualization of teaching. For example, the problem of communicating complex cumulative culture is an adaptive problem; teaching methods that manage transmission so that acquisition of some cultural variants increases the probability of acquiring others, provide a partial solution. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14000648 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9758770,author = {Abrams,Marshall},title = {Cultural variant interaction in teaching and transmission},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {38},month = {1},year = {2015},issn = {1469-1825},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X14000648},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X14000648},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Cultural variant interaction in teaching and transmission Marshall Abrams (2015). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 38 , January 2015e32 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9758770 The code will display like this Cultural variant interaction in teaching and transmission Marshall Abrams (2015) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 38, January 2015e32 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X14000648 Marshall Abrams (2015). Cultural variant interaction in teaching and transmission. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e32 doi:10.1017/S0140525X14000648 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
The collection of commentaries expands an already extensive field of research on teaching, and contributes new questions, techniques, and strengths to the evolutionary approach proposed in the target article. In my response, I show how reconciling multiple levels of explanation - mechanistic, ontogenetic, phylogenetic, and functional - enables researchers to build a more integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the study of teaching in humans and other animals.
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
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In line with Kline's taxonomy, highlighting teaching as an array of behaviors with different cognitive underpinnings, we advocate the expansion of a specific line of research on mind, brain, and teaching. This research program is devoted to the understanding of the neurocognitive mechanisms and the evolutionary determinants of teaching skills, with the ultimate goal of helping teachers improve teaching quality.
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
The synthesis provided by Kline in the target article is noteworthy, but ignores the inseparable role of play in the evolution of learning and teaching in both humans and other animals. Play is distinguished and advantaged by its positive feedback reinforcement through pleasure. Play, especially between adults and infants, is probably the platform from which human learning and teaching evolved. How to Cite This Article Link to This Abstract Blog This Article Copy and paste this link Highlight all http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X14000557 Citation is provided in standard text and BibTeX formats below. Highlight all BibTeX Format @article{BBS:9758740,author = {Palagi,Elisabetta and Stanyon,Roscoe and Demuru,Elisa},title = {Play to learn, teach by play},journal = {Behavioral and Brain Sciences},volume = {38},month = {1},year = {2015},issn = {1469-1825},doi = {10.1017/S0140525X14000557},URL = {http://journals.cambridge.org/article_S0140525X14000557},} Click here for full citation export options. Blog This Article Copy and paste this code to insert a reference to this article in your blog or online community profile: Highlight all Play to learn, teach by play Elisabetta Palagi,Roscoe Stanyon and Elisa Demuru (2015). Behavioral and Brain Sciences , Volume 38 , January 2015e53 http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?aid=9758740 The code will display like this Play to learn, teach by play Elisabetta Palagi, Roscoe Stanyon and Elisa Demuru (2015) Behavioral and Brain Sciences, , Volume 38, January 2015e53 http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0140525X14000557 Elisabetta Palagi, Roscoe Stanyon and Elisa Demuru (2015). Play to learn, teach by play. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e53 doi:10.1017/S0140525X14000557 Metrics Related Content Related Articles
... These demonstrations by caregivers have been shown to facilitate imitative learning in young children (Williamson & Brand 2013). Further support for these findings comes from studies demonstrating how mothers' sensitivity relates to infants' understanding of others' behaviors (Licata et al. 2014). It is likely that, via this kind of simplified action demonstration, parents actually tune into their infants' motor system, that is, they demonstrate the actions that resemble how infants themselves might perform these actions. ...
Article
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How far can teaching methods go to enhance learning? Optimal methods of teaching have been considered in research on supervised and unsupervised learning. Locally optimal methods are usually hybrids of teaching and self-directed approaches. The costs and benefits of specific methods have been shown to depend on the structure of the learning task, the learners, the teachers, and the environment.
... Regarding the relation between MM and sensitivity, a majority of studies have reported positive significant correlations between the frequency Bordeleau et al., 2012;Ereky-Stevens, 2008;Lundy, 2003;Rosenblum et al., 2008) and/or the proportion (Bigelow et al., 2015;Licata et al., 2014;Meins et al., 2001Meins et al., , 2012 of AMRCs and various indices of maternal sensitivity, although not all scholars have confirmed this evidence (e.g., Lok & McMahon, 2006). ...
Article
Mind-mindedness (MM) refers to caregivers’ proclivity to treat a child as having an active and autonomous mental life. It has been shown to be a powerful predictor of many developmental outcomes and to mitigate the impact of risk conditions. However, longitudinal studies on MM reporting changes over time and individual differences among mothers have been scant and quite inconclusive, mainly due to the investigation of changes between only two time points. The current study analyzes MM’s developmental trajectories across four time points (3, 6, 9, and 12 months of infants’ age) along with the moderating effects of four variables (maternal sensitivity, age, education, and family income). The sample included healthy mother–infant dyads (N = 93, 46 female infants), belonging to monolingual Italian predominantly middle-class families, with 15% (n = 14) classified as low income (below the relative poverty threshold). The dyads were videotaped during semistructured play interactions and transcripts were coded for appropriate mind-related comments (AMRCs) and nonattuned mind-related comments (NAMRCs). Mothers’ AMRCs, compared to NAMRCs, showed more temporal stability. Both AMRCs and NAMRCs showed a linear decrease with individual differences across dyads decreasing over time, and dyads becoming increasingly similar one with the other. Low income moderated the normative trend of appropriate mind-related comments. These findings suggest that MM, while depending largely on an individual trait at earlier ages, when infants’ mental states are less intelligible, adapts to the increase of infants’ sociocommunicative repertoire over time. They also highlight the importance of ecological constraints on the quality of caregiving.
... In recent years, with the help of technological advances related to the capture and analysis of movement, a renewed interest in the kinetic component of multimodal performance awoke. Brand et al. (2002), Koterba and Iverson (2009) and Licata et al. (2014) analyzed adult movement from the perspective of action to goal, such as grasping an object, finding that, in their interactions with babies 8 months and older, mothers modify their movements. They named this modification and simplification of gestures, actions, or signs that adults use while interacting with infants or toddlers Bmotionese^, noticing it might assist infants in processing human action, specifically to attend to objects and explore around them. ...
Article
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Intersubjectivity experiences established between adults and infants are partially determined by the particular ways in which adults are active in front of babies. An important amount of research focuses on the "musicality" of infant-directed speech (defined melodic contours, tonal and rhythm variations, etc.) and its role in linguistic enculturation. However, researchers have recently suggested that adults also bring a multimodal performance to infants. According to this, some scholars seem to find indicators of the genesis of the performing arts (mainly music and dance) in such a multimodal stimulation. We analyze the adult performance using analytical categories and methodologies of analysis broadly validated in the fields of music performance and movement analysis in contemporary dance. We present microanalyses of an adult-7 month old infant interaction scene that evidenced structural aspects of infant directed multimodal performance compatible with music and dance structures, and suggest functions of adult performance similar to performing arts functions or related to them.
... Third, maternal mind-mindedness was assessed from a short mother-infant interaction of only two and a half minutes. However, several studies of mind-mindedness have used assessments only a few minutes longer (Licata et al., 2014;Slaughter, Peterson, & Carpenter, 2009), and at least one study used a shorter time-frame (Marcoux, Bernier, Séguin, Armerding, & Lyons-Ruth, 2017). Yet mind-mindedness assessed from a longer time period might have increased the variability in the mothers' mind-minded comments. ...
Article
The relations among maternal depression risk, maternal mind-mindedness, and infants' attachment behavior were longitudinally examined in a community sample of mother-infant dyads. Maternal self-reported depression risk was measured at the infant ages of 6 weeks, 4 months, and 12 months. Maternal mind-mindedness, assessed from mothers' comments about infants' mental states (e.g., infants' thoughts, desires, or emotions), was measured during mother-infant interactions when infants were 4 months. Infants' attachment behavior was assessed at one year. Mothers' depression risk decreased over the infants' first year, with the sharpest decline between 6 weeks and 4 months. Mothers at risk for depression when infants were 6 weeks showed less appropriate mind-mindedness at 4 months. Mind-mindedness was not related to maternal depression risk at the infant age of 4 months or 12 months. Infants' degree of disorganized attachment behavior at one year was positively associated with maternal depression risk at 6 weeks and negatively associated with maternal appropriate mind-mindedness at 4 months. Mothers who are at risk for depression in their infants' early lives may be hampered in their capacity to respond appropriately to their infants' mental states. Infants with mothers who have difficulty responding appropriately to their mental states, as suggested by low appropriate mind-mindedness, may feel less known and recognized by their mothers, a key theme in the origins of disorganized attachment.
... It should be noted that these brief teaching sessions reflected only a sample of how dyads typically interact; it is unknown whether broader interaction styles featuring active experience relate to children's learning. General qualities of parenting benefit action learning; autonomy-oriented behavior and sensitive caregiving supported 12-month-olds' persistence, confidence, and affect when playing with new objects (Grolnick, Frodi, & Bridges, 1984), and caregivers who were modestly controlling, sensitive (Hohenberger et al., 2012), and emotionally available (Licata et al., 2014) had infants with better understanding of goal-directed actions. Whereas these global caregiving styles seem to be important for infant object engagement, the current study tested specific caregiver and child contributions to instruction that related to action learning. ...
Article
Children learn to perform actions on artifacts in their environments from infancy, but the ways caregivers support this learning during everyday interactions are relatively unexplored. This study investigated how naturalistic caregiver–child teaching interactions promoted conventional action learning in toddlers. Caregivers of 32 24- to 26-month-old children taught their children to perform novel target actions on toys. Afterward, an experimenter blind to the toys children had been taught tested children’s action learning. Results indicated that children’s propensities to assemble objects and vocabularies were positively associated with learning. Whereas caregivers’ speech did not directly support learning, caregivers’ action performance negatively related to children’s learning. Importantly, children’s own actions related to learning: Children who performed proportionally more actions relative to their caregivers with higher action accuracy demonstrated better learning of the taught material. Thus, children who “drove” the teaching session and were more accurate in their actions learned more. Caregivers contributed by supporting their children’s actions: Caregivers who provided more specific instructions and praise had children who were more active during instruction. Importantly, analyses controlled for child-level individual differences, showing that beyond children’s own skills, active experience supported by caregiver guidance related to conventional action learning. These findings highlight children as central agents in the learning process and suggest that caregivers contributed by coaching children’s actions.
... Hong, 2008; Licata, et al., 2014;Licata, Kristen, & Sodian, 2016;Moreno, Klute, & Robinson, 2008;Taylor-Colls & Pasco Fearon, 2015). ...
Article
The current longitudinal study examined relations between different dimensions of mother-child interaction quality and children’s multifaceted self-concept in n=150 participants. Mothers’ emotional availability was assessed when children were 7 months and 4 years old. Children’s social and academic self-concept as well as their general self-worth were assessed at 8 years. Furthermore, we assessed children’s and mother’s cognitive functioning. Children’s academic self-concept was predicted by their cognitive functioning, whereas children’s social self-concept was exclusively predicted by their mothers’ early sensitivity and non-hostility. Children’s general self-worth was related to their mother’s increasing sensitivity and structuring. Overall, the current study reveals developmental pathways between the different domains of mother-child interaction quality and the different facets of children’s self-concept.
... While it is ideal to allow for longer periods of observation (Biringen et al., 2005), extensive research has reliably assessed EA in parent-child interactions using the EA scales in relatively short time periods (e.g., 5-to 15-min) across a wide range of contexts (for a review, see Biringen et al., 2014). Many studies have established the predictive and convergent validity of the EA scales; for example, EA scales have been found to associate with maternal depression , child attachment , adult attachment representations (Coppola et al., 2006), child emotion understanding (Garvin et al., 2012), family SES (Chaudhuri et al., 2009), child goal encoding (Licata et al., 2014), infant emotion regulation (Little and Carter, 2005), and infant sleep patterns (Scher, 2001). The EA construct and its scales have received abundant research attention with studies ranging across age (0-14 years) and in normative, clinical and highrisk populations (e.g., feeding disorders; intellectual disabilities; high-risk community sample; disadvantaged; drug exposed and depressed mothers; see Biringen et al. (2014). ...
Article
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Few studies have examined the longitudinal impact of birth status on the infant–mother relationship and on children’s socio-emotional development. In the present study we investigated developmental patterns of such relationships [using the Emotional Availability (EA) Scales] in fullterm and VLBW/PT infants from infancy to emerging school age. Our objectives were to: (a) model the developmental trajectories of EA dimensions (maternal sensitivity, structuring, non-hostility; child responsiveness, involvement) in a VLBW/PT and fullterm sample, (b) identify potential effects of VLBW/PT status on these trajectories, and (c) determine whether the effects of VLBW/PT status on children’s socio-emotional development (child EA) remained after accounting for the effect of maternal EA. Child–mother dyads (n = 109) were observed in home-based interactions (face-to-face and free play) when children were 6, 12, 18, and 57-months-old in fullterm (37–41 weeks, >2500 g; n = 48) and healthy VLBW/PT (26–32 weeks gestation, birth weight 800–1500 g, corrected for gestational age; n = 61) children. Developmental trajectories of maternal and child EA were assessed using multilevel growth modeling in Mplus. Results indicated that, even after controlling for maternal EA, there was a persistent negative effect of VLBW/PT birth status on child EA trajectories. Both initially and over time, VLBW/PT infants lagged behind their fullterm counterparts on levels of responsiveness and involvement with mothers. There was also a persistent positive effect of maternal EA (sensitivity and structuring) on child EA trajectories. Higher average levels of maternal sensitivity and structuring across time were also associated with higher and persistent levels of child responsiveness and involvement of their mothers. Importantly, results held after modeling both effects together, and after controlling for maternal education and child gender. Our results have implications for VLBW/PT children’s development, the parent–child relationship, and integrating family level factors and relationship dimensions in early prevention and intervention programs.
... Second, we explored which parent-related (e.g., mothers vs. fathers), child-related (e.g., age), methodological (e.g., interactional vs. representational mind-mindedness), and/or publication (e.g., year) factors influence the association between parental mindmindedness and children's development. A number of studies have investigated mind-mindedness and its relationship with maternal age Demers et al., 2010;Meins, Centifanti, et al., 2013), SES (e.g., Centifanti et al., 2016;Laranjo & Bernier, 2013;Lundy, 2013;, and parent education (e.g., Arnott & Meins, 2008;Licata et al., 2014;Rosenblum, McDonough, Sameroff, & Muzik, 2008). To date, however, none of them have investigated the moderating effects of these variables on the relationship between mind-minded parenting and developmental outcome measures. ...
Article
Various lines of research suggest that parental mind-mindedness can facilitate children’s cognitive and social growth (e.g., executive functions and social cognition) in addition to improving parent-child relationships (i.e., attachments). The current research investigated the stability of the relationship between parental mind-mindedness and children’s developmental capacities by conducting a meta-analysis of 42 studies with 170 comparisons. Random effects analyses from the 170 comparisons revealed a modest positive mean effect size (r = 0.14), 95% CI [0.11, 0.16]. Next, the meta-analysis investigated three sets of potential moderators (sample characteristics, methodology, and publication factors) which led to 12 potential moderators in total. Of the 12, developmental capacity domain, children’s ages, mind-mindedness coding, mind-mindedness scoring, and research group were the five found to moderate the strength of the correlation. Parental mind-mindedness (coded for in regard to appropriate mind-related comments and/or mental attributes/comments) most strongly correlates with children’s executive functions, language abilities, and social cognition, and yields the strongest correlations when assessed during toddlerhood. Other analyses revealed that scoring parental mind-mindedness using the proportions of mind-minded utterances within speech is likely a conservative best practice, and that additional data from research groups is needed to ensure the stability of replications. We conclude with summaries of the literature’s quantitative findings currently and what that indicates about where subsequent investigations might focus.
... The houses and situation in the informal settlement offered no complementary support to preterm infants discharged from hospital, despite being delicate and in need of special care by their mothers (Burnham, Feely & Sherrad 2013;Darmstadt, Shiffman & Lawn 2015;Sahni & Polin 2013). Preterm infants need specific care in meeting their thermoregulatory requirements to support and enhance their neuro-sensory system (Le Roux et al. 2015;Licata et al. 2014). ...
Article
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Background: Pregnant women who experience preterm labour rush to public hospitals closest to the informal settlement in which they reside. Preterm infants are discharged when they reach a certain weight. Mothers take their preterm infants to their homes inside the informal settlements. Yet, preterm infants have special needs and require specific management. Research confirmed that nurses working in community clinics near informal settlements are unaware of the challenges faced by such mothers. Community nurses are at the heart of nursing, they work closest to the community and have a distinct opportunity to provide contextual, community-based care and support to these mothers, to promote good health and prevent diseases. Aim: This article aims to enhance community nurses’ insight about the mothers’ experiences in caring for their preterm infants post-hospitalisation. Setting: The study was conducted in an informal settlement in Midvaal, Gauteng. Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design was used. Indepth, phenomenological interviews were conducted with 10 purposefully sampled mothers to explore their experiences in caring for their preterm infants in an informal settlement. Data were analysed using Giorgi’s coding method. Ethical approval was received from the University of Johannesburg. Measures were applied to ensure trustworthiness. Results: Three themes emerged: mothers experienced intrapersonal responses, interpersonal responses and numerous physical challenges in taking care of their preterm infants. Conclusion: Study findings revealed that mothers experienced several responses in caring for their preterm infants. Sharing their experiences can enhance community clinic nurses’ insight to provide contextual health education.
... We expected to find at least in the adult sample a positive correlation, because they showed goal anticipations for human and non-human agents in previous studies (Daum et al., 2012;Pfundmair et al., 2017). In case we would find a correlation between the two paradigms within children, as predicted by the all agents-view, we wanted to make sure that this relation is not mediated by individual factors of the child (Licata et al., 2014). Hence, we included a measure for temperament (Infant Behavior Questionnaire revised very short form; Putnam, Helbig, Gartstein, Rothbart, & Leerkes, 2014; Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire very short form; Putnam & Rothbart, 2006) as well as a cognitive measure for pattern recognition. ...
Article
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Influential developmental theories claim that infants rely on goals when visually anticipating actions. A widely noticed study suggested that 11-month-olds anticipate that a hand continues to grasp the same object even when it swapped position with another object (Cannon, E., & Woodward, A. L. (2012). Infants generate goal-based action predictions. Developmental Science, 15, 292-298.). Yet, other studies found such flexible goal-directed anticipations only from later ages on. Given the theoretical relevance of this phenomenon and given these contradicting findings, the current work investigated in two different studies and labs, whether infants indeed flexibly anticipate an action goal. Study 1 (N = 144) investigated by means of five experiments, under which circumstances (e.g., animated agent, human agent) 12-month-olds show flexible goal anticipation abilities. Study 2 (N = 104) presented 11-, 32-month-olds and adults both a human grasping action as well as a non-human action. In none of the experiments did infants flexibly anticipate the action based on the goal, but rather on the movement path, irrespective of the type of agent. Although one experiment contained a direct replication of Cannon & Woodward (2012), we were not able to replicate their findings. Overall our work challenges the view that infants are able to flexibly anticipate action goals from early on, but rather rely on movement patterns when processing other’s actions.
... Attentional, self-regulatory and executive resources, all of which are critical to SE development, are limited in infancy (Frick et al., 2018;Holmboe, Bonneville-Roussy, Csibra, & Johnson, 2018;Ispa, Su-Russell, Palermo, & Carlo, 2017). These areas develop rapidly in the first two years through the support of and interpersonal experience with trusted caregivers (Bernier, Carlson, & Whipple, 2010;Feldman, 2015;Frick et al., 2018;Licata et al., 2014), alongside their neural underpinnings (Tierney & Nelson, 2009). The premise of the displacement hypothesis is that extended screen timeespecially lone screen timewould reduce the time and opportunities available for the kinds of interpersonal experience needed to support SE development. ...
Article
There has been little research on whether and how screen media usage affects social-emotional (SE) function prior to two years of age, even though early SE development is understood to be nurtured through interpersonal experience, mainly withthe primary caregiver. This study sought to characterise infant screen media usage and understand how it may link with concurrent SE function by testing associated effects on reducing parent-infant interaction and of parent psychological factors. Questionnaire responses from 327 UK-based parents of infants aged 6–24 months showed diverse usage in the amount of time spent on screen media (‘screen time’) and amount of parental involvement (co-sharing and co-referencing). Infants with possible SE delay experienced more screen time than those at low risk. The study tested three mediation models and found support for the displacement and not distancing hypothesis based on this community sample. While screen time predicted both SE competence and SE problems, reduced parent-infant play partially mediated the effect on SE competence. Parent depressed mood was positively linked with infant SE problems, but there was little evidence that increased screen time mediated this effect. Also, parent reflective function and attitudes toward parent-infant play were unrelated to screen time. Though longitudinal study is warranted, the findings implicate screen media usage as potentially directly and indirectly relevant when addressing infant mental health.
... Moreover, there are suggestions that bonding between mother and infant can predict longer term relationships between a mother and her child (O'Higgins, Roberts, Glover, & Taylor, 2013). Studies have also linked mother-infant bonding and the related quality of motherinfant interactions in the long term with infants' cognitive development, social competence, and general intelligence (Ainsworth & Bell, 1972;Feldman & Eidelman, 2004;Forcada-Guex, Pierrehumbert, Borghini, Moessinger, & Muller-Nix, 2006;Licata et al., 2014;Olson, Bates, & Bayles, 1984). And in its extreme, poor bonding is associated with an increased risk of subsequent child abuse or neglect (Brockington, 1998). ...
Article
Full-text available
Among mammals who invest in the production of a relatively small number of offspring, bonding is a critical strategy for survival. Mother–infant bonding among humans is not only linked with the infant’s survival but also with a range of protective psychological, biological, and behavioral responses in both mothers and infants in the post-birth period and across the life span. Anthropological theories suggest that one behavior that may have evolved with the aim of enhancing mother–infant bonding is infant-directed singing. However, to date, despite mother–infant singing being practiced across cultures, there remains little quantitative demonstration of any effects on mothers or their perceived closeness to their infants. This within-subjects study, comparing the effects of mother–infant singing with other mother–infant interactions among 43 mothers and their infants, shows that singing is associated with greater increases in maternal perceptions of emotional closeness in comparison to social interactions. Mother–infant singing is also associated with greater increases in positive affect and greater decreases in negative affect as well as greater decreases in both psychological and biological markers of anxiety. This supports previous findings about the effects of singing on closeness and social bonding in other populations. Furthermore, associations between changes in closeness and both affect and anxiety support previous research suggesting associations between closeness, bonding, and wider mental health.
... Even at 10 months, looking-time responses in a goal-encoding task were related to infants' engagement in joint attention in a mother-infant play session (Brune & Woodward, 2007). In the TOMII/TOMEC study, as early as 7 months, looking times in a goal-encoding task were related to maternal emotional availability, assessed in mother-infant play interaction, independent of children's temperament, infants' working memory, and maternal education (Licata et al., 2014). Longitudinally, mothers' emotional availability when their infants were 7 months was associated with children's theory-of-mind abilities at 4 years, when controlling for children's temperamental and cognitive characteristics, as well as mothers' emotional availability at 4 years . ...
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How does theory of mind become explicit? In this article, we provide a brief overview of theoretical accounts and then review longitudinal findings on the development of theory of mind from infancy to the preschool years. Long‐term predictive relations among conceptually related measures of implicit and explicit theory‐of‐mind reasoning support a conceptual continuity view of the transition from an implicit to an explicit understanding of the mind. We discuss alternative, minimalist accounts of infant psychological reasoning (e.g., two‐systems models, submentalizing theory) and their implications for the development of theory of mind in light of the evidence. Longitudinal findings further support a developmental enrichment view of joint attention as a foundation of theory of mind and early social interaction as a powerful mechanism in the development of this ability. Finally, we highlight the importance of longitudinal data for our understanding of conceptual development from infancy to the preschool years.
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Parenting, conceptualized as a specific form of teaching, may inform mentalistic, culture-based, and functional definitions. Combined brain-imaging, hormone-measurement, and cognitive-behavioral analyses indicate the importance of mentalization circuits. These circuits appear to function according to culture, and cross animal species. Further, these approaches shed light on sex differences through work on fathers as well as mothers, are affected by psychopathology, and may be amenable to treatment in ways that may be applied to optimize teaching.
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Se estudian las características de las performances y las protoconversaciones en un estudio longitudinal de caso único. Se explora y define el reciente concepto de "performance". Dichas interacciones constituyen juegos sociales entre adulto y bebé que aparecen durante el primer año de vida. Se comprobó que en la díada estudiada la frecuencia de performances superaba ampliamente la de protoconversaciones. Se estudia también las características de los contactos corporales piel a piel entre madre y bebé en el contexto de las performances.
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Human civilization has a system of different social tools, institutions, and types of positive and negative work with teaching/learning determined by different interests of many actors. Negative work is more hidden and less studied. A paradoxical adaptive problem for teachers with good intentions is design of teaching/learning that equips pupils for learning in future environments unknown to the teachers. Full text (the target article with commentaries): https://thomscottphillips.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/kline-2015-teaching.pdf
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Parental mentalization captures the parent’s abilities to represent his/her child as a psychological agent and the parent’s proclivity to understand and interpret child’s behavior in terms of mental states. Under this label, the literature emphasizes three different constructs: mind-mindedness, parental reflective functioning and insightfulness. Presently, there is no integrative review addressing all three constructs comprehensively through a comparative analysis. Furthermore, there is some confusion as to where the concepts overlap and differ, how they are distinctively operationalized and which measures are used to tap into each one of them. To address this issue, this article aims to synthesize the literature in a critical manner, reviewing mind-mindedness, parental reflective functioning and insightfulness. This study identifies key theoretical and methodological aspects of parental mentalization constructs (e.g., definition and conceptualization, measurements, parental and child correlates, strengths and weaknesses). Moreover, the constructs are compared based on their similarities and differences regarding definition, conceptualization and measurements. Finally, the paper offers some directions for further research. This review informs research in the field by providing an integrative and comprehensive understanding of parental mentalization.
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Introduction: Weight is the most important growth factor in newborns and perceived self-efficacy is known as an effective factor weigh gaining. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of mother's infant massage on neonatal weight and perceived self-efficacy of mothers with low birth weight infants. Materials and Methods: 80 infants were divided into intervention and control groups in this qusiexperimental study in neonatal intensive care unit. 40 low-birth weight infants received massage by their mother for 60 days, 15 minutes a day, and only normal care was taken in the control group. At the end of the study, weight gain and self-efficacy scores were analyzed standard statisctical methods. Results: The results showed that there was a significant difference between the mean weight changes in the intervention group (2120.88± 385.26) and control (1760.88 ± 220.31) at the tenth day of birth and two months (P = 0.001). The results of independent t-test showed a significant increase in self-efficacy scores and its dimensions in the two intervention groups compared to the control group (P
Chapter
The author argues about the implications of the evolution of motherese for the emergence of language in the human history, and it occurred in both the vocal mode and the manual mode, the fact indicating that the gestural theory of and the vocal theory of language origins are not incompatible with one another. It is a commonplace observation that hearing adults tend to modify their speech in an unusual and characteristic fashion when they address infants and young children. The available data indicate that motherese or infant-directed speech is a prevalent form of language input to hearing infants and that its salience for preverbal infants results both from the infant’s attentional responsiveness to certain sounds more readily than others and from the infant’s affective responsiveness to certain attributes of the auditory signal. In the signing behavior of deaf mothers when communicating with their deaf infants, a phenomenon quite analogous to motherese in maternal speech is observed. Concerning the aspect of linguistic input, moreover, there is evidence for the presence of predispositional preparedness in human infants to detect motherese characteristics equally in the manual mode and in the vocal mode. Such cognitive preparedness, in fact, serves as a basis on which sign language learning proceeds in deaf infants. One can seek its evolutionary origins in the rudimentary form of teaching behavior that occurs in the adult–infant interaction in nonhuman primates as well as in humans, by which the cross-generational transmission of parenting is made possible, including that in the deaf community.
Article
Motor developmental milestones in infancy, such as the transition to self-locomotion, have cascading implications for infants’ social and cognitive development. The current studies aimed to add to this literature by exploring whether and how crawling experience impacts a key social-cognitive milestone achieved in infancy: the development of intentional action understanding. Study 1 used a cross-sectional, age-held-constant design to examine whether locomotor (n = 36) and prelocomotor (n = 36) infants differ in their ability to process a failed intentional reaching action. Study 2 (n = 124) further probed this question by assessing how variability in locomotor infants’ experience maps onto variability in their failed intentional action understanding. Both studies also assessed infants’ tendency to engage in triadic interactions to shed light on whether self-locomotion impacts intentional action understanding directly or indirectly via changes in infants’ interactions with social partners. Altogether, results showed no evidence for the role of self-locomotion in the development of intentional action understanding. Locomotor and prelocomotor infants did not differ in their failed action understanding or levels of triadic engagement (Study 1) and individual differences in days of crawling experience, propensity to crawl during play, and maximum crawling speed failed to predict infants’ intentional action understanding or triadic engagement (Study 2). Explanations for these null findings and alternative influences on the development of intentional action understanding are considered.
Article
The concordance between infants’ emotion regulation styles with different partners has not been consistently analysed nor have the relational correlates of such potential across-partners similarities. We explored these issues by assessing 10-month-olds’ (59.6 percent boys) emotion regulation styles separately with mother and father and by evaluating mother–infant and father–infant interaction quality. The sample consisted of 50 low-risk families. Two home visits were conducted and similar procedures were adopted for each visit. Parent–infant interaction quality was assessed during daily routines and during free play; both parents independently completed a temperament questionnaire. Infant emotion regulation was assessed in a semi-structured problem-solving task: adaptive vs. maladaptive (under and over-regulation) styles. As predicted, infants’ emotion regulation with their mothers and fathers were related. However, only father–infant interaction quality predicted infants’ emotion regulation concordance: lower interaction quality was associated with maladaptive concordance compared with non-concordance and higher interaction quality was associated with adaptive concordance compared with non-concordance. Our results support the claim that by the end of the first year of life, infants use similar emotion regulation styles with mother and father and point to father–infant interaction as an important correlate of emotion regulation across-parents.
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Maternal responsive–didactic caregiving (RDC) and infant advanced object play were investigated in a sample of 400 mothers and their 10-month-old infants during video-recorded semistructured play interactions. Three maternal behaviours: contingent response, cognitively stimulating language and autonomy promoting speech were coded and infant object play. Factor analysis confirmed the three maternal behaviours loaded onto one underlying factor, labelled RDC. Based on ecological and transactional theories of development, associations between RDC and infant (advanced object play), maternal (age, education, ethnicity and first language) and family (size and home adversity) factors were investigated. Multiple regressions (1) explored the predictors of maternal RDC and (2) tested the possible role of maternal RDC in predicting infant intellectual development at 18months. At 10months, infants showing higher levels of play maturity experienced more maternal responsive and didactic feedback. All mother and family characteristics predicted variations in maternal RDC. Predicting 18-month cognitive development, RDC had significant effect over and above maternal education, home adversity and infant play. Mother’s first language remained significant, reflecting that RDC, in this investigation, relies heavily on language input. The findings highlight the importance of both contingent response and didactic contributions in interactions to subsequent cognitive development as early as the first year.
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Infants’ understanding of the intentional nature of human action develops gradually across the first year of life. A key question is what mechanisms drive changes in this foundational social‐cognitive ability. The current studies explored the hypothesis that triadic interactions in which infants coordinate attention between a social partner and an object of mutual interest promote infants’ developing understanding of others as intentional agents. Infants’ spontaneous tendency to participate in triadic engagement was assessed in a semi‐structured play session with a researcher. Intentional action understanding was assessed by evaluating infants’ ability to visually predict the goal of an intentional reaching action. Study 1 (N = 88) revealed that 8‐9‐month‐olds who displayed more bouts of triadic engagement showed better concurrent reasoning about the goal of an intentional reaching action. Study 2 (N = 114) confirmed these findings using a longitudinal design and demonstrated that infants who displayed more bouts of triadic engagement at 6‐7 months were better at prospectively reasoning about the goal of an intentional reaching action three months later. Cross‐lagged path analyses revealed that intentional action understanding at 6‐7 months did not predict later triadic engagement, suggesting that early triadic engagement supports later intentional action processing and not the other way around. Finally, evidence from both studies revealed the unique contribution of triadic over dyadic forms of engagement. These results highlight the importance of social interaction as a developmental mechanism and suggest that infants enrich their understanding of intentionality through triadic interactions with social partners. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Background In Australia, most states have residential parenting units that provide parenting support to parents (usually mothers) who are experiencing significant parenting difficulties with their infants or toddlers. The three most common reasons for admission to a residential service are: sleep and settling issues, adjustment to parenting, and feeding issues. Aim The overall study aim was to explore mothers’ experience of a residential admission, as one tool to increase the “patient (mother) voice” within the residential parenting service and provide a mechanism for staff to understand the impact of their interactions with mothers on the care delivery process. Design A qualitative descriptive approach and thematic analysis were used. One hundred mothers provided responses to a routinely collected questionnaire that asked about their experience while admitted to one of three residential parenting units. All mothers were eligible to participate. Results Three major themes were identified: not knowing what to expect; working collaboratively with parents; and facilitating maternal learning. Mothers identified that they had increased parenting confidence levels, and gained new parenting knowledge and skills as an outcome of the residential stay. Conclusions The value of a residential stay is clearly articulated by the mothers in the stories collected. These themes have affirmed that the residential units are parent-focused. Some mothers were surprised by the nurses’ willingness to listen to their preferences about their child’s care and to work with them adapting interventions to their cultural and home context. Impact Statement An inclusive, informal and supportive nursing approach was identified by the mothers as enabling and enhancing their ability to parent.
Article
In this four-wave longitudinal study, we examined intraindividual developmental patterns of change in mother-child emotional availability (EA) during infancy and the preschool years, the factors that promote or hinder it, and the longitudinal within-dyad association between maternal and child EA. Mother-infant dyads (N = 56) were observed at home when children were 6,12, 18 and 55-months-old. Multilevel growth modeling revealed that mother and child EA follow distinct trajectories across time. While maternal EA was found to be stable, a significant increase in child EA was found across the infancy years and into preschool. The results from the study also provide evidence for a sustained within-dyad relation between mother and child EA across time and suggest that mother, child, and contextual factors can create variations in the trajectories of maternal EA over time. The findings lead to a deeper understanding of the intraindividual changes that occur in mother and child EA across the infancy years and into preschool and the factors that can promote or hinder it.
Article
Major developments in attachment research over the past 2 decades have introduced parental mentalization as a predictor of infant-parent attachment security. Parental mentalization is the degree to which parents show frequent, coherent, or appropriate appreciation of their infants' internal states. The present study examined the triangular relations between parental mentalization, parental sensitivity, and attachment security. A total of 20 effect sizes (N = 974) on the relation between parental mentalization and attachment, 82 effect sizes (N = 6,664) on the relation between sensitivity and attachment, and 24 effect sizes (N = 2,029) on the relation between mentalization and sensitivity were subjected to multilevel meta-analyses. The results showed a pooled correlation of r = .30 between parental mentalization and infant attachment security, and rs of .25 for the correlations between sensitivity and attachment security, and between parental mentalization and sensitivity. A meta-analytic structural equation model was performed to examine the combined effects of mentalization and sensitivity as predictors of infant attachment. Together, the predictors explained 12% of the variance in attachment security. After controlling for the effect of sensitivity, the relation between parental mentalization and attachment remained, r = .24; the relation between sensitivity and attachment remained after controlling for parental mentalization, r = .19. Sensitivity also mediated the relation between parental mentalization and attachment security, r = .07, suggesting that mentalization exerts both direct and indirect influences on attachment security. The results imply that parental mentalization should be incorporated into existing models that map the predictors of infant-parent attachment. (PsycINFO Database Record
Article
Mind‐mindedness captures caregiver orientation to infant mental states expressed in mind‐related comments to infant cues, typically assessed during free play. There are two orthogonal dimensions: Appropriate comments accurately interpret the infant's experience, and non‐attuned comments are judged by observers to be inaccurate interpretations. Appropriate comments have been consistently associated with optimal caregiving behavior, but less is known about non‐attuned comments, rare during free play. Further, available evidence suggests mind‐mindedness is independent of infant temperament, but few studies have examined relations between mind‐mindedness and infant behavior during real‐time interaction. We addressed these issues using the Still‐Face Paradigm. Participants were 76 mothers and their 7‐month‐old infants. Mind‐mindedness, emotional availability, and infant negative affect were independently coded. Unexpectedly, appropriate mind‐related comments were not associated with emotional availability nor with infant negative affect. Mothers who made non‐attuned comments showed lower emotional availability, and their infants showed more extreme responses to the still‐face—either no negative affect or crying. Infants whose mothers made non‐attuned comments early showed less recovery in reunion episodes. Infant negative affect in early episodes also influenced mind‐related comments; mothers whose infants showed no negative affect made fewer appropriate comments in later episodes. Implications of assessing mind‐mindedness in stress contexts are discussed.
Article
Mind-mindedness refers to a caregiver’s tendency to treat the young child as an individual with a mind of his or her own. It is assessed in the first year of life by the caregiver’s tendency to comment appropriately on, and not misread, the infant’s mental states (thoughts, feelings, preferences) during interaction and in older children by the caregivers’ spontaneous use of mental state words in response to an invitation to describe their child. This narrative review first describes the construct and its theoretical origins as well as the different approaches to measurement. We then critically review 20 years of empirical literature linking mind-mindedness to indices of the parent–child attachment relationship and child developmental outcomes, and exploring the properties of the construct. We conclude by identifying key theoretical and methodological questions that need to be addressed in order to advance the field as well as potential clinical applications.
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Prosocial behavior emerges in the second year of life, yet it is typical for children in this period not to share, comfort, or help. We compared toddlers (18, 30 months) who helped with those who did not help on two tasks (instrumental helping; empathic helping). More than half of children failed to help on one or both tasks. Nonhelpers engaged in more hypothesis testing on the instrumental helping task, but more security-seeking, wariness, and playing on the empathic helping task. Across tasks, children who tended to engage in nonhelping behaviors associated with negative emotional arousal also tended to seek comfort from a parent. In contrast, children who tended to play instead of helping were less likely to exhibit negative emotional arousal or hypothesis testing, suggesting a focus on their own interests. Parents of 18-month-old nonhelpers on the instrumental task were less engaged in socializing prosocial behavior in their toddlers than were the parents of helpers. On the empathic helping task, 18-month-old nonhelpers had less mature self-other understanding than did helpers. By examining how the predominant reasons for failing to help vary with age and task, we gain a fuller perspective on the factors involved in the early development of prosocial behavior.
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Development of a caretaker-report instrument of the assessment of infant temperament is described, and longitudinal findings are reported. Temperament dimensions were selected for investigation from the work of Thomas, Chess et al., Escalona, Diamond, and others. Conceptual analysis of scale definitions was carried out to eliminate conceptual overlap of scales, and item analysis was performed for 463 Infant Behavior Questionnaires filled out for 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old subjects. Scales with adequate psychometric and conceptual properties were developed for the following dimensions: activity level, soothability, fear, distress to limitations, smiling and laughter, and duration of orienting. In longitudinal analyses, activity level and smiling and laughter scales revealed stability from 3 through 12 months, duration of orienting and soothability showed less general stability, and fear and distress to limitations showed stability only beyond the age of 6 months.
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It is widely assumed that, within the context of a stable developmental environment, relationship experiences in early life influence later ones. To date, however, there has been no longitudinal empirical evidence for the hypothesis that early maternal caregiving predicts adult attachment dynamics with peers and partners. The present longitudinal study shows that quality of maternal caregiving experienced at 18 months of age predicted the extent to which the same participants more than 20 years later (age M = 22) were uncomfortable relying on partners and peers (avoidance) and experienced relational worries with partners (anxiety). These findings provide new empirical support that early maternal caregiving predicts later adult attachment patterns with peers and partners. Moreover, consistent with attachment theory, they suggest that the influence of maternal caregiving experienced in early life is not limited to this first attachment relationship but operates more generally in other attachment relationships.
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We investigated the possibility that mothers modify their infant-directed actions in ways that might assist infants’ processing of human action. In a between-subjects design, 51 mothers demonstrated the properties of five novel objects either to their infant (age 6–8 months or 11–13 months) or to an adult partner. As predicted, demonstrations to infants were higher in interactiveness, enthusiasm, proximity to partner, range of motion, repetitiveness and simplicity, indicating that mothers indeed modify their infant-directed actions in ways that likely maintain infants’ attention and highlight the structure and meaning of action. The findings demonstrate that ‘motherese’ is broader in scope than previously recognized, including modifications to action as well as language.
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Organisms engage in various activities that are directed at objects, whether real or imagined. Such activities may be termed “intentional relations.” We present a four-level framework of social understanding that organizes the ways in which social organisms represent the intentional relations of themselves and other agents. We presuppose that the information available to an organism about its own intentional relations (or first person information) is qualitatively different from the information available to that organism about other agents’ intentional relations (or third person information). However, through the integration of these two sources of information, it is possible to generate representations of intentional relations that are uniformly applicable to the activities of both self and other. The four levels of the framework differ in the extent to which such integration occurs and in the degree to which imagination is involved in generating these representations. Most animals exist at the lowest level, at which integration of first and third person sources of information does not occur. Of nonhuman species, only great apes exhibit social understanding at intermediate levels, at which integration of these sources of information provides uniform representations of intentional relations. Only humans attain the highest level, at which it is possible to represent intentional relations with mental objects. We propose that with the development of the imagination, children progress through three stages, equivalent to the later three levels of the framework. The abnormalities in social understanding of autistic individuals are hypothesized to result from a failure to develop integrated representations of intentional relations.
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Various studies have shown that infants in their first year of life are able to interpret human actions as goal-directed. It is argued that this understanding is a precondition for understanding intentional actions and attributing mental states. Moreover, some authors claim that this early action understanding is a precursor of later Theory of Mind (ToM) development. To test this, we related 6-month-olds' performance in an action interpretation task to their performance in ToM tasks at the age of 4 years. Action understanding was assessed using a modified version of the Woodward-paradigm (Woodward, 1999). At the age of 4 years, the same children were tested with the German version of the ToM scale developed by Wellman and Liu (2004). Results revealed a correlation between infants' decrement of attention to goal-directed action and their ability to solve a false belief task at the age of 4 years with no modulation by language abilities. Our results indicate a link between infant attention to goal-directed action and later theory of mind abilities.
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In two studies, we investigated infants' preference for infant-directed (ID) action or 'motionese' (Brand, Baldwin & Ashburn, 2002) relative to adult-directed (AD) action. In Study 1, full-featured videos were shown to 32 6- to 8-month-olds, who demonstrated a strong preference for ID action. In Study 2, infants at 6-8 months (n= 28) and 11-13 months (n= 24) were shown either standard ID and AD clips, or clips in which demonstrators' faces were blurred to obscure emotional and eye-gaze information. Across both ages, infants showed evidence of preferring ID to AD action, even when faces were blurred. Infants did not have a preference for still-frame images of the demonstrators, indicating that the ID preference arose from action characteristics, not demonstrators' general appearance. These results suggest that motionese enhances infants' attention to action, possibly supporting infants' learning.
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Maternal representations of the self as parent were assessed via the Parent Attachment and Peer Relationship Interviews (Bretherton, Biringen, Ridgeway, Maslin-Cole, & Sherman, 1989; Biringen & Bretherton, 1988) when children were 39 months of age. Maternal sensitivity and maternal structuring during mother-child interactions were assessed at 18, 24 and 39 months. The central question of this study was whether maternal representations were related to aspects of observed maternal sensitivity and maternal structuring. We found that maternal sensitivity at 18 months predicted later maternal representations of the self as parent. But beginning at 24 months and continuing to 39 months maternal structuring proved to be a more important predictor of maternal representations of the self, in particular maternal self-esteem, even after controlling for maternal sensitivity.
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Dyadic emotional availability and infant-mother attachment relationship were examined in 687 Israeli dyads. Concurrent assessments used the Strange Situation procedure (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978) for evaluating infants' attachment relationship, and the Emotional Availability Scales (Biringen, Robinson, & Emde, 1993) for evaluating the quality of mother-child interaction. It was found that higher scores on the Emotional Availability Scales were associated with infant attachment security. In addition, it was found that the Emotional Availability Scales discriminated between insecure-ambivalent and secure attachment classification, but were not informative about unique characteristics of emotional availability in dyads with avoidant and disorganized infants. Our findings contribute to the cross-cultural validation of Emotional Availability Scales against infants' attachment security.
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Theories of children's developing understanding of mind tend to emphasize either individualistic processes of theory formation, maturation, or introspection, or the process of enculturation. However, such theories must be able to account for the accumulating evidence of the role of social interaction in the development of social understanding. We propose an alternative account, according to which the development of children's social understanding occurs within triadic interaction involving the child's experience of the world as well as communicative interaction with others about their experience and beliefs (Chapman 1991; 1999). It is through such triadic interaction that children gradually construct knowledge of the world as well as knowledge of other people. We contend that the extent and nature of the social interaction children experience will influence the development of children's social understanding. Increased opportunity to engage in cooperative social interaction and exposure to talk about mental states should facilitate the development of social understanding. We review evidence suggesting that children's understanding of mind develops gradually in the context of social interaction. Therefore, we need a theory of development in this area that accords a fundamental role to social interaction, yet does not assume that children simply adopt socially available knowledge but rather that children construct an understanding of mind within social interaction.
Book
Wellman presents evidence that children as young as age three do possess a commonsense theory of mind—that they grasp the distinction between mental constructs and physical entities and that they have an understanding of the relationship between individuals' mental states and their overt actions. He delves in detail into questions about the nature of adults' commonsense theories of mind and about the nature of commonsense theories. Wellman then examines the content of the three-year-old's theory of mind, the nature of children's notions of mind before age three, the changes in the theory during subsequent development from ages three to six, and the young child's conception of mind in comparison with those of older children and adults. Bradford Books imprint
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To investigate individual differences in theory of mind acquisition, this study examined whether different aspects of early mother-child relationships contributed to the development of false belief understanding at the close of the preschool period. Forty-six mother and child pairs were seen when children were two and again at five years of age. At age two, home-based Q-sort observations of attachment security and maternal sensitivity were made, and mothers completed a number of self-report measures to create an aggregate of maternal emotional distress. At age five, attachment security and maternal distress were reassessed, and false belief tasks were administered that were based on unexpected identities and locations of objects. In addition, attachment-relevant false belief tasks involving separation from caregivers were also used, which children found significantly more difficult than tasks involving objects. Age five security predicted object location task performance. Maternal sensitivity and emotional distress at age two predicted later caregiver location task performance, even controlling for age five measures. These results support a growing literature on the importance of relationship processes and parenting context to theory of mind acquisition.
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Emotional availability (EA) is a prominent index of socioemotional adaptation in the parent–child dyad. Is EA affected by context? In this methodological study, 34 mothers and their 2-year-olds were observed in 2 different settings (home vs. laboratory) 1 week apart. Significant cross-context reliability and continuity in EA as measured with the Emotional Availability Scales emerged. Because EA is not affected by context, cross-context generalizations about EA status in the dyad may be warranted. This work further documents the adequate psychometric properties of emotional availability.
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This study investigated the relation between maternal contingent responsiveness and 4- and 5-month-old infants' (N = 64) social expectation behavior in a still-face procedure. Mothers were asked to interact with their infants for 2 min (interactive phase), remain still-faced for 1 min (still-face phase), and resume interaction for 2 min. Mother and infant behavior was assessed for the frequency of infant and mother smiles, mother smiles that were contingent to infant smiles and infant smiles were contingent to mother smiles during the interactive phase, and infant social bids to mother during the still-face phase. Hierarchical regression showed that mother contingent smiles during the interactive phase accounted for unique variance in infant social bids during the still-face phase beyond that accounted for by the frequency of mother and infant smiles during the interactive phase. These results support the view that young infants' social expectations and sense of self-efficacy are formed within their interactions with their caregivers.
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The present study examined the neural processes related to different forms of prosocial behavior in infancy by means of a longitudinal study. At 14months, infants' resting state brain activation asymmetries were assessed by means of EEG. At 18months, we examined infants' instrumental helping, and at 24months infants' behavior in a comforting task. Behavioral analyses revealed a negative relation between infants' performances in the helping and comforting task. The EEG analysis showed that distinct neural patterns were related to each task. Greater left frontal cortical activation was associated with infants' understanding of the other's distress as well as empathic responding in the comforting task, whereas greater right temporal activation was related to infants' instrumental helping. These findings reveal the neural correlates of the earliest forms of prosocial action and show that different neurophysiological activation patterns are related to the emergence of instrumental helping and comforting in early development.
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Describes methods for determining sidedness and eye dominance in infants under 12 wk. of age, in 2-5 yr. olds, and in Ss over 5 yr. of age. The effects of imitation on developing left or right handedness is discussed. Research is noted which indicates the deleterious effects of crossed dominance. It is suggested that those children and adults who are experiencing ill effects due to crossed dominance should be encouraged to change their handedness. Methods for changing handedness are discussed. The beneficial aspects of a club which was developed for left handed students are described. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Research and theory on social cognitive development across the life span over the past 30 years has concentrated on an understanding of beliefs, desires, and intentions, referred to as “theory of mind.” This chapter describes the developmental course, beginning in infancy, of social-cognitive skills in relation to general cognitive processes, such as executive functions, atypical social cognitive development, research in primatology and neuroscience, notably mirror neurons. It contrasts the current individualistic claims with what we feel are more valid relational metatheoretical assumptions. We contend that social understanding (which we prefer to “theory of mind”) should be understood as embedded in interpersonal engagement, joint attention, culture, family interaction, and language. These processes facilitate increasing sophistication in social understanding. Keywords: social understanding; theory of mind; infancy; executive function; language; relational metatheory; mirror neurons; neuroscience
Article
The aims were to examine the association of maternal or child interactive behaviour with emotional and behavioural problems of the child simultaneously and 3 years later, and to assess whether there is continuity in children's emotional and behavioural symptoms from 2 to 5 years. Sixty-five 2-year-old children with their mothers were videotaped during a feeding situation. Their mothers completed the CBCL at 2 years and when the children were 5. Simultaneously, there were no strong correlations between child's emotional and behavioural problems and maternal or child interactive behaviour. Subsequently, mothers' higher sensitivity and more optimal structuring, as well as child's higher involvement of the mother, were associated with lower levels of child externalizing and total problem scores. Also, less responsive children showed more externalizing symptoms 3 years later. There was continuity of emotional and behavioural problems from 2 to 5 years. Problems in mother–child interaction may predict behavioural problems in the child subsequently. Besides maternal behaviour, it is important to consider the interactive behaviour of the child. Children who are less responsive and who show less involvement of the mother are more likely to subsequently present more externalizing symptoms, and these children should be recognized and treated early. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Abstract— This article reviews recent evidence for the claim that infants possess a theory of mind. Two conceptual systems (CS) of psychological reasoning are distinguished: CS1, underlying the attribution of motivational states such as goals and dispositions, and CS2, supporting a representational theory of mind, that is, an understanding of false belief. There is ample evidence for CS1 even in the 1st year of life, whereas the claim that CS2 is operational in infancy is controversial. The article proposes a lean interpretation of findings on infants’ representation of false belief that assumes that a fast and automatic, but limited and inflexible, social information processing system guides infants’ encoding of belief-based intentional action.
Article
We used an optimized configuration of the delayed-response task to explore the ability of young infants to remember which of 2 locations was correct across 12 trials after a 1- to 2-sec delay. Performance improved with age, particularly after 5.5 months. These findings suggest an onset of appreciable working memory for many infants in the middle of their 6th month.
Article
To investigate individual differences in theory of mind acquisition, this study examined whether different aspects of early mother-child relationships contributed to the development of false belief understanding at the close of the preschool period. Forty-six mother and child pairs were seen when children were two and again at five years of age. At age two, home-based Q-sort observations of attachment security and maternal sensitivity were made, and mothers completed a number of self-report measures to create an aggregate of maternal emotional distress. At age five, attachment security and maternal distress were reassessed, and false belief tasks were administered that were based on unexpected identities and locations of objects. In addition, attachment-relevant false belief tasks involving separation from caregivers were also used, which children found significantly more difficult than tasks involving objects. Age five security predicted object location task performance. Maternal sensitivity and emotional distress at age two predicted later caregiver location task performance, even controlling for age five measures. These results support a growing literature on the importance of relationship processes and parenting context to theory of mind acquisition.
Article
The present study explores relations between young children’s understanding of mind and parental emotional expression and disciplinary style, along with gender differences in these relations. Participants were recruited from a study of 125 same-sex twin-pairs (58% female; group mean age 5 43 months, SD 5 1 month). Each child received a comprehensive set of theory-of-mind tasks, and was filmed at home for 20 minutes in dyadic interactions with the primary caregiver, who was also interviewed about disciplinary strategies. Ratings of discipline and positive and negative parental affect and control were made from direct observation, from the interview, and from the videoed interactions. Strong correlations were found between family SES, parenting measures, and child verbal IQ and theory-of-mind score. However, regression analyses showed that parental behaviours were significant predictors of children’s theory-of-mind performance, even when sex, verbal IQ and family SES were taken into account. Sex differences in these relations were also identified; parental affect was especially salient for understanding of mind in girls, while discipline was more salient for boys. Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of individual differences in the proximal processes associated with early understanding of mind, and suggest that development in mental-state awareness is associated with distinct aspects of parenting for girls and boys.
Article
We tested the hypothesis that mother–child warmth and responsiveness would moderate the link between young children's theory of mind skills and self-worth. Participants included 125 same-sex pairs of 3.5 year-old twins and their mothers. A battery of tests was individually administered to measure the children's theory of mind skills and verbal intelligence, and their self-reported self-worth was assessed using a puppet interview. Following visits to the families' homes, the observers completed ratings of warm responsive mother–child behavior based on videotaped unstructured and structured observations. As expected, warm responsive behavior moderated the relation between their theory of mind and the child's self-worth. Their theory of mind was positively associated with self-worth in warm responsive mother–child dyads, and there was weaker evidence that their theory of mind may be negatively associated with self-worth in less warm, unresponsive mother–child dyads.
Article
This research examined associations among demographic variables, parenting strat-egies, and a theory of mind battery including measures of perception, desire, belief, and emotion understanding in 142 preschool-aged children. In correlational analy-ses, maternal education and, to a lesser extent, income were associated with a number of aspects of theory of mind. Additionally, mothers' use of instruction in response to child misbehavior was positively associated with perception and desire understand-ing whereas mothers' use of consequences and power assertion were negatively asso-ciated with aspects of theory of mind. In regression analyses controlling for children's cognitive ability and age, maternal education continued to be positively associated with perception understanding. Power assertion was negatively associated with belief understanding, but positively associated with emotion understanding. Finally, mothers' use of consequences in response to child misbehaviors was negatively related to emotion understanding.
Article
How do children (and indeed adults) understand the mind? In this paper we contrast two accounts. One is the view that the child's early understanding of mind is an implicit theory analogous to scientific theories, and changes in that understanding may be understood as theory changes. The second is the view that the child need not really understand the mind, in the sense of having some set of beliefs about it. She bypasses conceptual understanding by operating a working model of the mind and reading its