ERIC Number: ED154929
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Management of Attention in Child-Child and Mother-Child Interaction.
Cooper, Catherine R.; Goth, Patricia E.
This study was conducted to examine the developmental patterns in young children's ability to use others as a resource in problem-solving situations and to compare the roles that mothers and same-age peers play as resources for children in such situations. A total of 48 middle-class 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children participated in the study with their mothers and 48 peers of the same age and sex. Each child played three problem-solving games in three conditions; alone, with the mother, and with the peer. The child and partner, if present, were told that the game was for the child to play, but that the partner could help when asked. Each game lasted 5 minutes and was recorded by videotape. Results showed that with their peers, older children made more attention-focusing statements, asked more questions, and made more relevant comments than younger children did. With their mothers, older children made fewer requests for help and fewer irrelevant comments than younger children. With their peers, the younger children were helped when they and their partners used communication patterns which kept them focused on the task. With their mothers, the one variable that was associated with success was the mother's incomplete but relevant responses, which maintained the child's attention but did not provide the complete answer to his or her question. It was concluded that from 3 to 5 years of age, the child utilizes the peer system and the mother-child system in quite different ways. (Author/JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Southwestern Society for Research in Human Development Conference (Dallas, Texas, March 17-18, 1978)