Touching in Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Nurseries

Tiffany Field, Jeff Harding, Barbara Soliday, David Lasko, Nini Gonzalez, Chad Valdeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Observations were made in infant, toddler and preschool nurseries to establish baseline touching between children and their peers and teachers. Teachers were then asked to try to touch the children more frequently, and follow-up observations were then conducted. Positive touch (including holding, hugging, kissing, hand-holding, and caregiving) increased following this request to the teachers. Boys were touched in a positive way more frequently than girls, and progressively less positive touch was noted across ages from the infant to toddler to preschool nurseries. Carrying and caregiving in the nurseries were correlated with time spent holding by parents during end-of-day reunions. Teacher ratings of touch behavior were related to actual behavior, i.e. how often the teacher thought she touched the child was correlated with how often the child was actually touched, and how much the child liked being touched correlated with how much the child was touched during reunion with the parents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Touching
  • nursery school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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