ERIC Number: ED231506
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Before "Shared Meaning": The Elicitation and Maintenance of Social Themes among Toddlers.
Bragg, Cheryl F.
An antecedent-consequent model of toddlers' socially directed messages to peers was developed to investigate the differential success of themes in eliciting interaction. Videotaped observational data collected under a short-term longitudinal design were obtained from two playgroups, each consisting of six toddler-age boys. Toddlers' social attempts were characterized thematically to specify the underlying intent in each act. A total of 25 themes were selected as describing most of those used by toddlers in their approaches to each other. (Examples of themes included "check reaction,""attract attention," and "object possession.") Themes served as the focal point of the antecedent-consequent coding model. Results indicated that the success of the toddlers' social messages in initiating and/or sustaining social interaction depended upon their themes; those largely unsuccessful in eliciting interaction were vague in meaning. By contrast, themes that consistently emerged as successful in eliciting interaction seemed to have inherent "control" characteristics in gaining a response. The finding that much of toddler interaction occurs without shared meaning was supported by the results. Finally, findings affirmed the salience of objects in the toddler's social world for the development of the child's social themes and initiations. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dyadic Communication; Social Interaction; Toddlers
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (50th, Detroit, MI, April 21-24, 1983). Preliminary version of ongoing research project.