Mother and Infant Activity and Interaction in Japan and in the United States: II. A Comparative Microanalysis of Naturalistic Exchanges Focused on the Organisation of Infant Attention

Marc H. Bornstein, Sueko Toda, Hiroshi Azuma, Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, Misako Ogino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study compares and contrasts activities and interactions related to maternal organisation of infant attention toward mother and toward the environment in Japanese and U.S. American mother-infant dyads. Observational data derived from 48 Tokyo and New York City mothers and their 5month-old infants seen at home were submitted to microanalysis. Relations among selected mother and infant activities, notably maternal control of and responsiveness to attentional focus in infants, are evaluated using cooccurrence and lag-sequential analyses. American and Japanese mothers and babies engaged in most activities at similar rates. However, American mothers appear to respond to environmental involvement in their infants by further encouraging infants to attend to properties, objects, or events in the environment, whereas it is during periods of decreased environmental interest and increased social interest that Japanese mothers deploy didactic encouragement. The results reveal activity and interaction patterns which are similar between these two cultures, as well as patterns which are culturespecific.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-308
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Development
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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