DOES THE AMOUNT OF SOCIAL OR OBJECT PLAY BETWEEN INFANT AND MOTHER RELATE TO INFANT CONSTRUCTION ABILITY?
Infants prefer to watch caregivers during object play, as opposed to face-to-face play or watching objects alone (Deak et al., 2014). Infants spend more time looking at a caregiver's hands and objects during manipulation, as opposed to the caregiver's face (Yu & Smith, 2013). Parents who engage in object play more may be encouraging their infants to manipulate objects more skillfully, than parents who only engage socially. Object construction is one way that infants begin to show an increased ability to manipulate objects (Marcinowski et al., 2016). Thus, infants whose parents encourage object play are expected to perform more object constructions, than infants whose parents engage more socially. The purpose of the study is to investigate whether parent object or social play correlates with infant construction ability. Parent-infant dyads (n=31) were tested for dyadic play at the emergence of object construction ability. Parents were provided with four toys, and instructed to spend five minutes interacting with their infant. Reliable coders marked the duration of object and social play. Object play was defined as dyadic interactions in which a toy was involved, while social play was defined as interactions without the use of toys. For the object construction task, each infant was separately given six sets of toys that could be combined in some manner. A successful construction was defined as occurring when an object was successfully built upon a base item. Correlational analyses are expected to reveal a negative correlation, such that increases in social play will be correlated with decreases in construction ability. A positive correlation between object play and construction ability is expected. Increases in object play are expected to be correlated with increases in construction ability. Previous research supports the idea that infants observe object manipulations of their caregiver(s) by watching the caregiver's hands and objects when engaged in object manipulation. However, there is no research investigating the impact of these observations on infant behavioral outcomes. We propose that object play, as opposed to social play, has an important role on an infant's subsequent ability to create structures from objects successfully.
Parrish, Alexis; Rillo, Jessica; and Storer, Darcy, "DOES THE AMOUNT OF SOCIAL OR OBJECT PLAY BETWEEN INFANT AND MOTHER RELATE TO INFANT CONSTRUCTION ABILITY?" (2019). University Research Symposium. 209.