Mother and Infant Activity and Interaction in Japan and in the United States: I. A Comparative Macroanalysis of Naturalistic Exchanges

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is widely held that Japanese and U.S. Americans differ in prominent aspects of their psychological make-ups, and that experiences of early life may be responsible for certain social and intellectual distinctions between members of these two cultures. To compare and contrast activities and interactions of Japanese and American mothers and their 5-month-old infants, 48 mother-infant dyads, half in Tokyo and half in New York City, were observed in the natural setting of their homes. This report examines mothers visual and verbal stimulation of infants and infants visual and tactual exploration and vocalisation from a macroanalytic viewpoint. First, similarities and differences among Japanese and American infants and mothers on these activities are assessed. Next, covariation among infants activities and among mothers activities within each culture is evaluated, and resultant patterns of covariation between the two cultures are compared. Finally, correspondence between mothers and infants activities in each culture is analysed, and patterns of interactions between the two cultures are compared. Two issues are discussed. First considered are the identification and description of activities, interactions, and developmental processes that are similar and different in these two cultures, and second considered are cross-cultural tests of developmental issues related to covariation and correspondence of activity in mother-infant dyads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-287
Number of pages21
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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