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Baby Lab

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Dyadic activities and attention in the infant: A developmental study.

Examined types of mother-infant interactions and how mothers mobilize infants' attention in various situations. The sample consisted of 30 dyads. The mean age of the mothers was 31 yrs 6 mo, and the mean age of the infants was 5 mo 12 days at 1st observation and 8 mo 20 days at 2nd observation. Observations were split in 4 categories: care, dyadic play with objects, dyadic play without objects, and infant alone. Two target behaviors were coded: (1) mother physically encouraging infant to attend to an object and (2) infant focusing attention on an object. Inter-dyad variability was high, while dyads were stable across ages. Mothers differed widely in the duration of attention and in the way they mobilized attention. Mothers mobilized infants' attention on objects mainly during play. Five-month-olds still needed their mother's support, as they explored less when they were alone, but 8-mo-olds were more autonomous. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)