The effects of systematic stroking versus tickling and poking on infant behavior

Martha Peláez-Nogueras, Tiffany Field, Jacob L. Gewirtz, Maricel Cigales, Angela Gonzalez, Aida Sanchez, Sara C. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Effects of contingent stroking were compared to effects of contingent tickling and poking on infant eye contact (attention) and affect during face-to-face interactions with an adult female. Twelve 2-to 4.5-mo-old infants participated in a within-subjects alternating-treatments design. Each subject received the two touch conditioning treatments in alternation within each of four consecutive sessions. In each session, three 2-min conditioning periods were implemented. Compared to tickling and poking treatment, during the systematic-stroking treatment all infants spent a greater proportion of time making eye contact with the experimenter, smiled and vocalized more and frowned and cried less.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-178
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

Peláez-Nogueras, M., Field, T., Gewirtz, J. L., Cigales, M., Gonzalez, A., Sanchez, A., & Richardson, S. C. (1997). The effects of systematic stroking versus tickling and poking on infant behavior. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 18(2), 169-178.