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ERIC Number: EJ777139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Feb
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0305-0009
Effects of Maintaining and Redirecting Infant Attention on the Production of Referential Communication in Infants with and without Down Syndrome
Legerstee, Maria; Varghese, Jean; Van Beek, Yolanda
Journal of Child Language, v29 n1 p23-48 Feb 2002
The effects of maternal interactive styles on the production of referential communication were assessed in four groups of infants whose chronological ages ranged between 0;6 and 1;8. Two groups of infants with Down syndrome (DS), one (n = 11) with a mean mental age (MA) of 0;8.6, and the other (n = 11) of 1;4.5, were matched on MA with two groups (n = 10 each) of typically developing infants. Infants were seen bi-monthly, for 8 months, with mothers, same-aged peers, and mothers of the peers. Results showed that High MA non-Down syndrome (ND) infants produced more words, and High MA DS infants produced more gestures when playing with mothers than peers. Mothers exhibited more attentional maintaining behaviours than peers, in particular to High MA infants, but they redirected the attentional focus of Low MA infants more. Sequential loglinear analyses revealed interesting contingencies between the interactive strategies of mothers and the referential communicative behaviours of their infants. Whereas maintaining attention increased, redirecting attention decreased the likelihood of the production of gestures and words in children. However, redirecting attention was followed by maintaining attention. Thus, mothers redirect the attentional focus in order to promote joint attention and referential communication. Furthermore, words and gestures of the children also promote joint attention in mothers. This highlights the reciprocal nature of these dynamic communicative interactions. [This research was partially funded by a grant from Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: N/A