The role of maternal behavior in children's pretense during the second year of life

Author(s)
Gabriela Markova, Maria Legerstee
Abstract

In a cross-sectional study we investigated children's pretense and imitation of pretense at 12, 15, and 18 months of age during natural play and pretend play with their mothers and during imitation and causal transformation tasks with an experimenter. Maternal pretense, imitation of pretense, and verbalizations were also coded during mother–child interactions. Results showed that the frequency of child pretense increased with age across all conditions. Child imitation of pretense remained consistent in all age groups during interactions with mothers, while it peaked at 15 months and then decreased during pretense tasks with the experimenter. Children also engaged in more imitation with mothers during pretend play than during natural play. Additionally, maternal pretense predicted child imitation whereas maternal imitation and verbalizations predicted child pretense. These findings indicate that specific maternal behaviors scaffold pretense and facilitate imitation of pretense in very young children.

Organisation(s)
Department of Clinical and Health Psychology
External organisation(s)
York University
Journal
Cognitive Development
Volume
34
Pages
3-15
No. of pages
13
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.12.011
Publication date
01-2015
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
Developmental psychology, Child and adolescent psychology
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/the-role-of-maternal-behavior-in-childrens-pretense-during-the-second-year-of-life(aa41a6ee-e4b1-4f10-be16-a914b57b0e19).html