Informations and abstract
Maternal scaffolding has been studied in a lot of structured contexts, both with older children in problem solving and with the younger ones during social games. The present work is aimed at analyzing maternal scaffolding in a different situation, i.e. the free play in the second year of life. Ten mother-child dyads interacting at home with a set of toys were observed every two weeks with the aim of 1) tracing the developmental trends of maternal interventions and child responses and 2) identifying their interactive contingencies. We found that both maternal Requesting and Correcting increase whereas Demonstrating decreases. Expanding increases in early period and then decreases. As regards child behaviors, Specific responses increase whereas No responding decreases. Moreover, Generic responses decrease whereas the Wrong ones increase. Finally, some interactive contingencies have turned out to be significant as regards the strength of their sequential association. Results are discussed with reference to the development in the second year of life of the child's cooperation with the adult. Across the longitudinal span, the children show to gradually increase their availability to share the activity with the mother and the mothers show to adapt their behaviors to the level of child's responses, gradually withdrawing their support in favor of more challenging interventions. Moreover, this development shows to be an interactional process, where mother and child behaviors influence each other through specific sequential patterns.