This research is being carried out to investigate the association between aspects of maternal behaviour and infant learning. Specifically, we are investigating maternal use of ostensive cues, such as making eye contact, accurate turn-taking and addressing the infant in infant-directed speech, when communicating with her infant, and maternal reflective functioning (mentalizing), and how these may influence infant learning.
We will recruit a sample of mothers and babies from children’s centres and mother-baby groups throughout London. Mothers will also be interviewed using the Parent Development Interview (PDI) and asked to complete a questionnaire about their child and the relationship between them and their child. We will also video record the mothers teaching their child a simple task and the child’s subsequent performance on the task, as well as a short play interaction between them.
- To investigate the associations between maternal ostensive communication, reflective functioning and sensitivity and how these variables influence infant learning.
- To develop our understanding of maternal ostensive communication and how this is assessed.