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J Genet Psychol. 2003 Mar;164(1):54-71.

Emergence of joint attention: relationships between gaze following, social referencing, imitation, and naming in infancy.

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School of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.


The authors investigated the extent to which the joint-attention behaviors of gaze following, social referencing, and object-directed imitation were related to each other and to infants' vocabulary development in a sample of 60 infants between the ages of 8 and 14 months. Joint-attention skills and vocabulary development were assessed in a laboratory setting. Split-half reliability analyses on the joint-attention measures indicated that the tasks reliably assessed infants' capabilities. In the main analysis, no significant correlations were found among the joint-attention behaviors except for a significant relationship between gaze following and the number of names in infants' productive vocabularies. The overall pattern of results did not replicate results of previous studies (e.g., M. Carpenter, K. Nagell, & M. Tomasello, 1998) that found relationships between various emerging joint-attention behaviors.

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