Infant behavioral responses to infant-directed singing and other maternal interactions

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26 Scopus citations


Seventy, 6-9-month-old infants were videotaped during six interactions: mother sings assigned song, "stranger" sings assigned song, mother sings song of choice, mother reads book, mother plays with toy, and mother and infant listen to recorded music. Infant-directed (ID) singing conditions elicited moderately positive cognitive behavior, low levels of positive physical behavior and minimal amounts of vocal behaviors, mostly negative. Across all conditions, cognitive scores remained positive at low to moderate levels. Physical responses were most positive during book and toy, most negative during recorded music, and differed by gender, especially during ID singing. Vocally, infants responded positively to toy, and 8-month-old infants vocalized more than younger infants, particularly during ID singing conditions. ID singing appears just as effective as book reading or toy play in sustaining infant attention and far more effective than listening to recorded music, while interactions involving objects may provide opportunity for shared attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-470
Number of pages15
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


  • Affect regulation
  • Attachment
  • Infant-directed singing
  • Sustained attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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