This study aimed to focus on a niche that has not yet been investigated in infants' gesture studies that is the effect of the prior context of one specific gestural behavior (gives) on maternal behavior. For this purpose, we recruited 23 infants at 11 and 13 months of age yielded 246 giving gesture bouts that were performed in three contexts: typical when the object was offered immediately, contingent on exploration, and contingent on play. The analysis revealed that maternal responses to infants' giving gestures varied and were affected by their age and gesture context. Hence, mothers amended their responses according to the background that generated each gesture. The number of verbal responses to infants' giving gestures decreased as the infants aged, whereas the number of pretense responses increased. For infants aged 11 months, mothers generally provided motor responses to typical gestures. However, for infants aged 13 months, this trend declined and was replaced by a strong positive correlation between giving gestures contingent on play and verbal responses. We concluded that the type of activity with objects prior to employing giving gestures could enhance infants' symbolic skills because caregivers monitor the contingent act that yields the gesture that shapes their response.
|Number of pages||15|
|Early online date||3 Feb 2023|
|State||Published - 1 May 2023|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors grateful to the parents and babies who participated in this study.
© 2023 International Congress of Infant Studies.