Toddlers' Social Coordinations: Changing Responses to Another's Invitation to Play
This study observed 28 toddlers, longitudinally at 16, 20, 24, 28, and 32 months, reacting to an adult's programmed play overtures. Ss' actions were coded for (a) their relation to the adult's overture (coordinated, interfering, tangential, and unrelated), (b) alternative overtures to the adult, and (c) the uses of sounds/words. Coordinated responses increased with age; most consisted of nonverbal imitation, but, with increasing age, more involved verbal imitation and verbally directing the adult. Alternative overtures also increased with age and were increasingly repeated in same or varied form. Finally, words were increasingly used to regulate the activity between toddler and adult: In their coordinated responses, toddlers increasingly described their own actions and directed the adult; in their alternative overtures, they verbally requested the adult to assume a new role. A proposed model integrates developmental changes in forming and maintaining social coordinations with changes in negotiating the topic for coordinated action.
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