This study was conducted to further extend scaffolding research to low-income dyads because living in poverty may serve as a risk factor for experiencing difficulties in social and cognitive development during childhood. Scaffolding was examined in the context of mother-toddler dyads’ (N = 56) performance of a routine feeding task that was difficult for 2-year-olds to complete independently. Both verbal and nonverbal behaviours were microanalytically coded in order to characterise the successive scaffolding strategies by mothers, and their children’s responses. Also, scaffolding data were compared to data on joint attention and dyadic reciprocity obtained from a free-play task. Results show that mothers’ use of constructive verbal strategies during the feeding task was positively associated with joint attention and mother-initiated dyadic reciprocity, both of which may be viewed as indices of maternal sensitivity. Thus, the provision of verbal assistance may be one mark of maternal sensitivity during scaffolding in low-income dyads.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Life-span and Life-course Studies