ERIC Number: EJ785237
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Early Markers of Language and Attention: Mutual Contributions and the Impact of Parent-Infant Interactions
Gartstein, Maria A.; Crawford, Jennifer; Robertson, Christopher D.
Child Psychiatry and Human Development, v39 n1 p9-26 Mar 2008
This study was conducted to explore the contribution of attentional skills to early language, and the influence of early language markers on the development of attention, simultaneously examining the impact of parent-child interaction factors (reciprocity/synchrony and sensitivity/responsivity), including their potential moderator effects. All children were between 6 months and 12 months of age, and about equally distributed between genders (33 males, 32 females), with caregivers' ages ranging from 28 years to 45 years (N = 65). Maternal perceptions of infant attentional skills (duration of orienting, or persistence of attention, and perceptual sensitivity--the infant's ability to selectively attend to subtle stimuli) and an early marker of language (vocal reactivity: use of vocalizations across a variety of activities), along with observations of parent-child interactions, provided the basis for the present evaluation. Infant duration of orienting emerged as the primary predictor of vocal reactivity, with the contribution of perceptual sensitivity approaching significance. Infant vocal reactivity explained significant amounts of variance for duration of orienting and perceptual sensitivity. Parent-infant interaction factors contributed to the prediction of early attentional skills, with responsivity/sensitivity explaining a significant portion of perceptual sensitivity variance, and synchronicity/reciprocity emerging as a significant predictor of duration of orienting. Observed contribution of the vocal * reactivity responsivity/sensitivity interaction to predicting infant perceptual sensitivity provided preliminary support for the proposed moderation.
Descriptors: Caregivers, Infants, Parent Child Relationship, Attention, Eye Movements, Language Acquisition, Mother Attitudes, Prediction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A