Touch among children at nursery school

Maricel Cigales, Tiffany Field, Ziarat Hossain, Martha Pelaez-Nogueras, Jacob Gewirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Naturalistic observations of touching behaviors were conducted among 33 preschool children, ranging from 3 to 64 months of age. Touch was coded for direction (received/initiated), type, body area touched, responses to touch, and purpose. Infants received significantly more touch than older children. Preschool children engaged in touching behaviors similar to those observed among adults. Touch involved "vulnerable body parts" more often among toddlers than among preschoolers. 'Negative' responses to being touched occurred more often among toddlers than among preschoolers, and task-related touch occurred less often in the preschool than in the toddler and infant classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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