MOTHER-INFANT INTERACTION AND INFANT COGNITIVE COMPETENCE
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This study examined the correlation between the quality of mother-infant interaction at 4 months of age and infant cognitive competence at 12 months. Fourteen mother-daughter dyads were studied longitudinally: data gathered consisted of videotaped face-to-face free play interaction at 4 months, and three measures of infant cognitive competence at 12 months.;Mother-infant play at 4 months was analyzed in terms of each partner's affective and attentional engagement from moment to moment by means of an Engagement Scale (Beebe & Gerstman, 1980). Additional measures of quality of interaction included: the degree to which the dyad temporally matched vocal patterns; the degree to which the mother infantized her speech; how much of the time the mother responded contingently to the infant's vocalizations; the degree to which mother and infant tracked each other's changes in direction of engagement (increasing or decreasing); and clinical assessment of the mother's sensitivity toward the baby. Infant cognition was assessed at 12 months by the Bayley Mental Scale (Bayley, 1969), and Object Permanence Scale (Corman & Escalona, 1969), and a Person Performance Test (Bell, 1970).;Variables relating to infant and maternal engagement and social interaction at four months were correlated with infant twelve month cognitive scores by means of both bivariate and canonical analysis. The pattern of results supported the hypothesis that the extent of cognitive development at 12 months is related to mutuality in social interaction, maternal sensitivity, and maternal contingent behavior in early infancy. The four month variables which correlated most strongly with cognitive competence included maternal sensitivity, engagement directional tracking, infantized speech, and vocal pattern matching.