Rhythm in mother-infant interactions

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Deborah F. Deckner
Lauren B. Adamson
Roger Bakeman
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
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Rhythmic behavior and the association of vocal rhythmic behavior with language development were studied in a sample of 30 motherinfant dyads. Dyads were observed in 2 contexts (1 involved sharing pictures and the other sharing musical toys) when infants were 18 and 24 months of age. Vocal rhythmic behavior was seen in both contexts, and in both contexts mothers matched their infants vocal rhythmic behavior at greater than chance rates. Greater matching tended to be associated with higher language scores whereas, counter to prediction, higher rates of maternal vocal rhythmic behavior tended to be associated with lower language scores. At 24 months of age, motherdaughter dyads showed more matching than motherson dyads. These results suggest that differences in maternal production of vocal rhythmic behavior may foster different language learning strategies.
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