This study examined relations between social contingency in mother-child interaction and low-income 2-year-olds' social competence, using a cross-sectional design (N = 47). Measures of social contingency included time spent in joint attention and dyadic turn-taking behaviors following maternal bids. Measures of child social competence included emotional self-regulation during a delay-of-gratification task and empathic responsiveness toward an experimenter feigning injury. Social contingency was related to children's use of self-regulatory strategies, but not to empathic responsiveness. Child negative emotionality and gender contributed to explanations of children's self-regulatory strategy use. More emotionally negative children spent less time using self-distraction; girls used less self-distraction and more comfort-seeking during delay than did boys. However, time spent in joint attention made an additional independent contribution over and above child factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies