Triadic interaction and gestural communication: Hierarchical and child-centered interactions of rural and urban gujarati (Indian) caregivers and 9-month-old infants
In this study 9-month-old infants in rural and urban Gujarat, India were compared in how frequently and in which way they engage in triadic interactions. It was assumed that urban caregivers would engage in a child-centered interaction style, frequently creating triadic interactions and following infants’ signals. It was also expected that they would engage in more gestural communication in line with results on young infants often being involved in distal interactions. Rural caregivers were assumed to engage in a hierarchical interaction style in which the caregiver directs the interactions. It was expected that they would engage more in bodily ways of communicating as young infants in these communities often experience large amounts of proximal interactions. Infants were observed in everyday situations to assess their everyday engagement in triadic interactions and experience with gestures. Additionally, infants’ mothers were asked to show their children something distant to assess how triadic attention is created. These interactions were video recorded and analyzed in terms of gestures and bodily behaviors. The results indicate that urban infants experience more triadic interactions and have caregivers who are more likely to follow their initiatives than rural infants. In the observations, urban caregivers also used gestures more frequently than rural caregivers. For rural infants the results are less clear with some indications that caregivers directed their attention more, particularly using their bodies. These differences were only apparent in the video-recorded situations. Implications for infants’ further development are discussed.
©American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0001094.