Success at Catching and Keeping Toddler's Attention: An Examination of Joint Attention among Low-Income Mothers and Their 2-Year-Olds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recent research suggests that competent caregiving by low-income parents may serve to buffer young children from some of the deleterious consequences of economic hardship. As one means of exploring competent caregiving in the context of poverty, this study examined the structuring of joint attention among 47 low-income mothers and their 24-month-old toddlers. Findings revealed that, on the whole, dyads spent approximately half of a 10-minute play period in bouts of collaborative joint attention. While mothers made social overtures, or bids, more frequently than children, children played a significant role in initiating bouts of joint attention. Highly engaged dyads generated significantly higher numbers of reciprocal maternal bids and fewer reciprocal child bids overall than did disengaged dyads. Sequential analyses suggested that reciprocal bids initiated by children were likely to lead to periods of collaborative joint attention among engaged dyads, but not among disengaged dyads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Parenting
  • Resilience
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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