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Infants' Joint Attention and Vocabulary Development

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2009, 22(3), pp.85-103
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

박영신 1 Nan-hee Park 2 Hyo-jung Kim 3

1경북대학교
2대동병원 임상심리실
3대구동부교육청 Wee Center

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study longitudinally examined the development of joint attention and its relationships with language development in a group of 46 infants. At 12, 15, and 18 months of age, the infants' initiating joint attention (IJA) and responding to joint attention (RJA) were evaluated with the Early Social Communication Scale, whereas language development was evaluated with the M-BCDI-K. IJA refers to infants' ability to use eye contact, alternation, pointing, eye contact with pointing, and showing to spontaneously share experience. During the 6 month period, the infants displayed no changes in the total frequency of IJA. However, frequencies of lower level IJA such as eye contact tended to decrease whereas frequency of high level IJA such as pointing tended to increase. RJA refers to infants' ability to follow the direction of gaze and gestures of others. RJA was shown to improve with age, especially in the period between 12 months and 15 months of age. Individual differences in IJA displayed significant stability between 15 and 18 months of age while individual differences in RJA displayed significant stability across the entire 6 month period between 12 months and 18 months of age. A significant relationship was also demonstrated between joint attention and language development. Data collected on infants at 12 months of age showed a significant correlation between RJA and receptive language. Significant correlations were also observed between IJA at 15 months of age and receptive language at 15 and 18 months of age and between IJA and receptive language at 18 months of age. In regression analyses, RJA at 12 months of age and IJA at 15 and 18 months of age predicted significantly the receptive language development at 18 months of age, but none of the measures of joint attention were able to predict significantly the expressive language development at 18 months of age.

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This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.