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Dev Psychol. 1999 Jul;35(4):1079-90.

Cultural variation in management of attention by children and their caregivers.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064, USA.


Cultural variation occurred in time-sharing of attention during videotaped home visits with sixteen 14-20-month-old toddlers and their caregivers from a Guatemalan Mayan community and a middle-class community of U.S. European-descent families. The Mayan caregivers and their toddlers were more likely to attend simultaneously to spontaneously occurring competing events than were the U.S. caregivers and their toddlers, who were more likely to alternate their attention between competing events and, in the case of the caregivers. to focus attention on one event at a time. This cultural contrast in prevalence of simultaneous or nonsimultaneous attention occurred in both a 10-min segment of child-focused activities and a 10-min segment of adult-focused activities, replicating and extending the findings of B. Rogoff, J. Mistry, A. Göncü, and C. Mosier (1993), which implicated cultural processes in attention.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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