NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1221381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Sep
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1082-3301
Imitation and Social Communication in Infants
Hanika, Leslie; Boyer, Wanda
Early Childhood Education Journal, v47 n5 p615-626 Sep 2019
The authors of this study examined the relationship between motor imitation behaviors and social communication behaviors in 15-18-month-old infants, using a quantitative correlational research design. Imitation behaviors have been shown to be an index of later social cognition and language development, and a critical mechanism in language learning for typically developing infants. Social communication behaviors have also been demonstrated to predict later language skills. The authors looked for quantifiable correlations between motor imitation and social communication in typically developing 15-18-month-olds and the authors found a significant positive correlation between motor imitation and the social communication variable of language understanding. The authors demonstrated that motor imitation can be measured reliably in infants between 15 and 18 months, and that a demonstrable increase in imitation behaviors occurs in this age group. The naturalistic home-based play context of this study provided robust reliable scores and ecological validity to the results. The results suggest that motor imitation in 15-18-month-olds has a unique relationship to social communication that is specific to language understanding, and separate from verbal expression or gesture.
Springer. Available from: Springer Nature. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A