Give and take: The development of conventional infant gestures

Daniel S Messinger, Alan Fogel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To understand the development of nonverbal communication, the manual gestures of 11 infants between 9 and 15 months of age were observed while they played with their mothers several times a month. Infants were more likely than their mothers to request objects and less likely to respond to requests for objects, suggesting a relatively acquisitive style of interaction. The proportion of infant requests that involved a vocalization rose with age, suggesting that infants increasingly use vocalizations to emphasize instrumental communications. Infant gazing at mother was most likely during offers that infants initiated without a preceding maternal request. When infants gestured and gazed at mother, they also tended to smile. Unsolicited offers involving gazing at mother and smiling appear to index self-initiated, positive social contact. The results help distinguish between instrumental and social approach functions of nonverbal conventional communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-590
Number of pages25
JournalMerrill-Palmer Quarterly
Volume44
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Gestures
Child Development
infant
Mothers
Nonverbal Communication
Smiling
non-verbal communication
social relations
communications
Communication
communication
interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Give and take : The development of conventional infant gestures. / Messinger, Daniel S; Fogel, Alan.

In: Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4, 01.10.1998, p. 566-590.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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