Developmental trends in mother-infant interaction from 4-months to 42-months: Using an observation technique

Masatoshi Kawai*, Kumiko Namba, Yuko Yato, Koichi Negayama, Shunya Sogon, Hatsumi Yamamoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: It is clear that early social interaction follows from mother-infant interaction after pregnancy. Many researchers have illuminated this interaction in the first years of life. Most common mother-infant interaction is the attachment behavior of an infant. The Japan Children's Study (JCS) development psychology group hypothesis is that the early mother-infant interaction will predict later social behaviors. But the method applied to evaluate this interaction mainly comes from the evaluation of the whole observation situation and is dependent upon the coder. We applied a new observational method that checked the on/off status of behavior and recorded sequentially. Methods: Using a semi-structured observation setting as our method, we analyzed the developmental change of mother-infant interaction within a toy situation. Results: The result indicated that mother-infant interaction with a toy altered at around 9-months and is salient to the usual developmental change of joint attention. Additionally cluster analysis suggested that the developmental pattern is divided into two clusters. This is the first report on a developmental pattern of joint attention. Conclusions: These results indicated that the developmental trend of gaze direction and vocalization is one candidate of measure for evaluating the mother infant social interaction from the point of joint attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S427-S434
JournalJournal of epidemiology
Issue numberSUPPL.2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Joint attention
  • Longitudinal study
  • Mother-infant interaction
  • Observation method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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