Relations between social contingency in mother-child interaction and 2-year-olds' social competence

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Abstract

This study examined relations between social contingency in mother-child interaction and low-income 2-year-olds' social competence, using a cross-sectional design (N = 47). Measures of social contingency included time spent in joint attention and dyadic turn-taking behaviors following maternal bids. Measures of child social competence included emotional self-regulation during a delay-of-gratification task and empathic responsiveness toward an experimenter feigning injury. Social contingency was related to children's use of self-regulatory strategies, but not to empathic responsiveness. Child negative emotionality and gender contributed to explanations of children's self-regulatory strategy use. More emotionally negative children spent less time using self-distraction; girls used less self-distraction and more comfort-seeking during delay than did boys. However, time spent in joint attention made an additional independent contribution over and above child factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)850-859
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume32
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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