Ada Cigala, Elena Venturelli

The social referencing towards the mother and father in infants aged 12-20 months

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Social Referencing; Mother-Father-Child Interactions; Emotional Regulation; Emotional Development; Emotional Expressions.

The present study investigated the phenomenon of social referencing as a form of spontaneous communication between mother, father and child. Fifty-five children (age range: 12-20 months; 29 males and 26 females) participated with their parents in a laboratory observational session in which they interacted with an ambiguous object. No specific instructions were given to the parents with respect to the expressions or behaviors to be exhibited in the experimental situation. The results showed that all children exhibited social referencing and almost all of them referred to both parents. Moreover, data analysis showed that the emotional expressiveness, the focus of attention and the behavioral ≪encouraging≫ strategy of the mother are related to the regulation of children's behavior toward the ambiguous object. The present study investigated the phenomenon of social referencing as a form of spontaneous communication between mother, father and child. Fifty-five children (age range: 12-20 months; 29 males and 26 females) participated with their parents in a laboratory observational session in which they interacted with an ambiguous object. No specific instructions were given to the parents with respect to the expressions or behaviors to be exhibited in the experimental situation. The results showed that all children exhibited social referencing and almost all of them referred to both parents. Moreover, data analysis showed that the emotional expressiveness, the focus of attention and the behavioral ≪encouraging≫ strategy of the mother are related to the regulation of children's behavior toward the ambiguous object.

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