Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The development of social interaction between infants
Author: Blatchford, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0001 3467 8344
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1979
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Historically, there has been relatively little concern with social interaction between children under three years of age; researchers of early social development have been predominantly interested in mother-infant interaction. Recent studies, however, have detected a surprising degree of social skill even between 3 year olds. The aim of the present study was therefore to search for the origins of these skills by describing developments in social interaction between infants. Videotapes were made of infant dyad free play sessions at five age levels: 9, 13, 17, 21 and 25 months. These were coded in detail and analysed by quantitive and qualitative methods. Each infant's interaction with his mother was also videotaped, and background information was obtained from a maternal interview. It was found that infants directed a variety of behaviours toward each other, including: vocalizations; contacts involving toys, e. g. conflicts, exchanges and joint activities; direct physical contacts; and even communication and social play. Developments in these behaviours were described in terms of underlying social skills and summarised in terms of a three stage summary model. Stage I contacts were unco-ordinated and resulted from independent activities whilst in close proximity. Stage II marked the beginning of social interaction as such because contacts were now reciprocal, integrated and facilitative. Stage III marked the beginning of longer and more flexible exchanges where behaviours were embedded in a plan of action that encompassed past and future behaviours. No conclusive effects of sex of child and prior social experience were found, although there was some evidence for stability in individual modes of behaviour toward other infants. In contrast to mother-infant contact, infant-infant contact was less intensive and more toy mediated. The unique properties of infant-infant contact were discussed and it was concluded that infant-infant interaction could be a valuable experience in early interactive development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available