ERIC Number: ED065180
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Mother-Infant Interaction and the Development of Competence.
Ainsworth, Mary D. Salter; Bell, Silvia M.
Several sets of evidence are offered to support the hypothesis that cognitive and social development are intimately interrelated, and that mother-infant interaction influences both. A mother's prompt responsiveness to her baby's signals tends to foster the development of varied and clear modes of communication and thus the development of one facet of social competence. Sensitive maternal responsiveness to infant signals, especially when combined with giving a baby freedom to explore his physical environment facilitates overall development of competence as measured by a general intelligence quotient. The quality of mother-infant interaction affects both the quality of a baby's attachment relationship with his mother and at least one important specific aspect of cognitive development, the development of the concept of the object. The concept of the balance between exploratory and attachment behavior is considered, and it is suggested that the significance of this is not so much quantitative as qualitative. That is, the significant individual differences lie not so much in the relative quantities of attachment and exploratory behavior as in the quality of each and the smoothness of transition from one to the other. Evidence is presented that the quality of mother-infant interaction influences the quality of the infant's attachment relationship to his mother, and that it also influences the level and quality of exploratory behavior and play. (Author/CK)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Grant Foundation, New York, NY.; Office of Child Development (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A