Joint attention partially mediates the longitudinal relation between attuned caregiving and executive functions for low-income children

Annie Brandes-Aitken, Stephen Braren, Jill Gandhi, Rosemarie E. Perry, Sashana Rowe-Harriott, Clancy Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using data from a large longitudinal sample (N 1,292) of children and their caregivers in predominantly low-income, nonurban communities, we investigated longitudinal relations between attuned caregiving in infancy, joint attention in toddlerhood, and executive functions in early childhood. The results from path analysis demonstrated that attuned caregiving during infancy predicted more joint attention in toddlerhood, which was in turn associated with better executive function performance in early childhood. Joint attention was a stronger predictor of executive functions for lower-income families. Moreover, joint attention mediated the relation between attuned caregiving and executive functions, and this mediation was amplified for lower-income families. These results highlight joint attention as a key mechanism through which attuned caregiving supports the development of executive functions, particularly for low-income families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1829-1841
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume56
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Attuned caregiving
  • Executive function
  • Joint attention
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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