ERIC Number: ED202580
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Imitation Within the Context of Mother-Newborn Interaction.
Francis, Patricia L.; And Others
Two studies were conducted to examine (1) 1- to 3-day-old infants' imitation of their mothers, and (2) mothers' imitation of their newborn infants. For the infant imitation study, 30 mothers and their infants served as subjects. Two observers stood behind the mother to view the infant's face while the mother presented one of the following gestures: tongue protrusion, mouth opening, lip protrusion, and shifting the eyes to the infant's left. Results indicated that more infant responses occurred during the phase following the maternal gestures than during a 5-second baseline phase preceding stimulus presentation. For the mother imitation study, 24 healthy mother-newborn pairs comprised the sample. On each of the first three days following delivery mother-infant pairs were videotaped in a non-feeding interaction for approximately 5 minutes. Mother-infant interactions were coded for three types of maternal imitation: vocal, gestural and visual. Also, separate codings were made of infant visual regard toward the mother's face. Results of the first study indicate that the infants did not imitate their mothers. Findings of the second study indicate that this sample of mothers imitated their newborn infants. Additionally, correlations between maternal imitation and infant visual regard changed from significantly negative to significantly positive across the first three days of the infant's life. It is concluded that these early imitative episodes serve important functions within mother-infant interaction and provide foundations for later turn-taking. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gestures; Vocalization
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (New York, NY, April 22-25, 1981).