This research was supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) and by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Fellowship awarded to D. M. Stack and by grant OGP0044279 awarded to D. W. Muir by NSERC. These data were part of the first author's doctoral thesis, in partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. degree at Queen's University. Portions of these data were presented at the meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development (April 1989) and the Canadian Psychological Association convention (June 1988, 1989). The authors wish to thank Sylvia Hains for her statistical aid and helpful editorial comments, Monica Hurt for graphics, and anonymous reviewers for their thorough and insightful review.
Adult Tactile Stimulation during Face-to-Face Interactions Modulates Five-Month-Olds' Affect and Attention
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 63, Issue 6, pages 1509–1525, December 1992
How to Cite
Stack, D. M. and Muir, D. W. (1992), Adult Tactile Stimulation during Face-to-Face Interactions Modulates Five-Month-Olds' Affect and Attention. Child Development, 63: 1509–1525. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1992.tb01711.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
3 studies were designed to investigate infant responses to tactile stimulation during brief adult-infant interaction using a modified still-face (SF) procedure. When adults pose a neutral SF expression, infants decrease gazing and smiling at the adults, and some increase grimacing, relative to normal interaction periods. This SF effect was substantially reduced in Study 1 when mothers or strangers continued to touch infants during the SF period. In Studies 2 and 3, tactile versus visual and active versus passive aspects of adult touch were isolated during different SF periods. Visible, active adult hands unaccompanied by touch elicited infant attention, but not smiling, during the SF period. By contrast, active, not passive, adult touch substantially reduced the SF effect, even when the adult's hands were invisible. In the latter condition, infants continued to gaze and smile at the adult's SF. Thus, adult facial expressions are not the only modulator of infant affect and attention during social exchanges; adult touch appears to play an active role.