ERIC Number: ED179285
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Maternal Responsiveness and Infant Vocalization.
Garrity, Linda I.
The rapidity with which mothers respond to their infants' vocalizations by either vocalizing or verbalizing was compared for five male and five female later-born, (i.e., not first-born) children and their mothers. Videotapes were made from behind a one-way mirror when infants were 2, 26, 52, and 78 weeks of age; each tape represented a five-minute free play session in which mothers were instructed to play with their children as they normally would at home. Results showed that while the amount of maternal speech was similar for boys and girls at 2 weeks of age, mothers vocalized and verbalized more to daughters than to sons at 26, 52, and 78 weeks of age. It was also found that while mothers responded more quickly to their sons' utterances at 2 weeks of age, they responded more quickly with a vocalization to their female children's vocalizations at 26, 53, and 78 weeks of age. For girls there was a high correlation between frequency of vocalization and rapidity of maternal vocal response at all four ages. For boys there was no correlation between frequency of vocalization and rapidity of maternal vocal response at 2, 26, and 78 weeks of age and a significant negative correlation between the two at 52 weeks. It was concluded that the frequency of boys' vocalization apparently is independent of maternal responsiveness and that girls are more influenced by maternal or vocal reinforcement than are boys. Data from five additional mother/infant dyads in which the mothers were emotionally disturbed formed the basis for claiming that the measure of maternal responsiveness used in this study was a valid measure of the broader concept of maternal sensitivity. (JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin State Dept. of Health and Social Services, Madison.
Note: Paper presented at the meeting of the International Council of Psychologists (Princeton, NJ, August 29-31, 1979)