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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||25|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)