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Putting the "Joy" in joint attention: affective-gestural synchrony by parents who point for their babies.

Leavens DA, Sansone J, Burfield A, Lightfoot S, O'Hara S, Todd BK - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: We found that parents displayed the highest levels of smiling at the same time that they pointed, thus demonstrating affective/referential synchrony in their infant-directed communication.There were no discernable differences in this pattern among parents with children of different ages.Thus, parents spontaneously encapsulated episodes of joint attention with positive emotion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Sussex, East Sussex UK.

ABSTRACT
Despite a growing body of work examining the expression of infants' positive emotion in joint attention contexts, few studies have examined the moment-by-moment dynamics of emotional signaling by adults interacting with babies in these contexts. We invited 73 parents of infants (three fathers) to our laboratory, comprising parent-infant dyads with babies at 6 (n = 15), 9 (n = 15), 12 (n = 15), 15 (n = 14), and 18 (n = 14) months of age. Parents were asked to sit in a chair centered on the long axis of a room and to point to distant dolls (2.5 m) when the dolls were animated, while holding their children in their laps. We found that parents displayed the highest levels of smiling at the same time that they pointed, thus demonstrating affective/referential synchrony in their infant-directed communication. There were no discernable differences in this pattern among parents with children of different ages. Thus, parents spontaneously encapsulated episodes of joint attention with positive emotion.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Schematic of the experimental setup. Drawing not to scale.
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Figure 1: Schematic of the experimental setup. Drawing not to scale.

Mentions: Parents were asked to sit in a chair centered on the long axis of a 5 × 4 m room with symmetrical illumination and a beige curtained backdrop (Figure 1). The parents held the children in their laps. Four mechanical dolls were arranged in an arc around the dyads, 2.5 m from their chair, at symmetrical angular displacements of 20 and 60° to the left and right of their midlines. Two video cameras were placed, respectively, centrally and 45° to the right of the dyads; images were mixed to a split screen and this split screen image was recorded on Super VHS video. Dyads were randomly assigned to random sequences of doll activation so that each of the four dolls were animated on the first four trials and then this same sequence was repeated for an additional four trials, rendering eight trials per dyad. As each of the dolls was animated from a control room adjacent to the laboratory, its “arms” and “legs” oscillated up and down while auditory signals (a recorded female voice repeating the phrase, “Hey, baby!”) were emitted from a speaker mounted behind each doll’s ”head” for a duration of 5 s. Parents were asked to point to the dolls when they were animated. No other specific instructions were given.


Putting the "Joy" in joint attention: affective-gestural synchrony by parents who point for their babies.

Leavens DA, Sansone J, Burfield A, Lightfoot S, O'Hara S, Todd BK - Front Psychol (2014)

Schematic of the experimental setup. Drawing not to scale.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4129495&req=5

Figure 1: Schematic of the experimental setup. Drawing not to scale.
Mentions: Parents were asked to sit in a chair centered on the long axis of a 5 × 4 m room with symmetrical illumination and a beige curtained backdrop (Figure 1). The parents held the children in their laps. Four mechanical dolls were arranged in an arc around the dyads, 2.5 m from their chair, at symmetrical angular displacements of 20 and 60° to the left and right of their midlines. Two video cameras were placed, respectively, centrally and 45° to the right of the dyads; images were mixed to a split screen and this split screen image was recorded on Super VHS video. Dyads were randomly assigned to random sequences of doll activation so that each of the four dolls were animated on the first four trials and then this same sequence was repeated for an additional four trials, rendering eight trials per dyad. As each of the dolls was animated from a control room adjacent to the laboratory, its “arms” and “legs” oscillated up and down while auditory signals (a recorded female voice repeating the phrase, “Hey, baby!”) were emitted from a speaker mounted behind each doll’s ”head” for a duration of 5 s. Parents were asked to point to the dolls when they were animated. No other specific instructions were given.

Bottom Line: We found that parents displayed the highest levels of smiling at the same time that they pointed, thus demonstrating affective/referential synchrony in their infant-directed communication.There were no discernable differences in this pattern among parents with children of different ages.Thus, parents spontaneously encapsulated episodes of joint attention with positive emotion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Sussex, East Sussex UK.

ABSTRACT
Despite a growing body of work examining the expression of infants' positive emotion in joint attention contexts, few studies have examined the moment-by-moment dynamics of emotional signaling by adults interacting with babies in these contexts. We invited 73 parents of infants (three fathers) to our laboratory, comprising parent-infant dyads with babies at 6 (n = 15), 9 (n = 15), 12 (n = 15), 15 (n = 14), and 18 (n = 14) months of age. Parents were asked to sit in a chair centered on the long axis of a room and to point to distant dolls (2.5 m) when the dolls were animated, while holding their children in their laps. We found that parents displayed the highest levels of smiling at the same time that they pointed, thus demonstrating affective/referential synchrony in their infant-directed communication. There were no discernable differences in this pattern among parents with children of different ages. Thus, parents spontaneously encapsulated episodes of joint attention with positive emotion.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus