Il rapporto attenzione-affetti nel contesto della comunicazione precoce con la madre: cambiamenti evolutivi e differenze individuali/ The development of attention and emotion between birth and three months (parte di un progetto di ricerca internazionale finanziato dal NIMH, National Institute for Mental Health, USA, per il quinquennio 05.1999 - 04.2004;
in coll. con A. Fogel, University of Utah, USA)
Abstract dell’intero progetto di ricerca
The goal of this program of research is to document the process by which individual differences in patterns of attention and emotion arise developmentally in infants' social relationships with mothers during the first three years of life. One of our proposed research designs - called a relational-historical approach - differs from population studies because we propose to track within normally developing mother-infant dyads the process of developmental change by making frequent observations (daily, weekly, or monthly) across key developmental transitions related to the coupling between positive emotion, attention, and communication. We focus on four key developmental transitions in the first two years of life: the onset of social smiling at 2 months, the onset of interest in objects and focused attention at 4 months, the onset of shared attention and emotion at 12 months, and the onset of self-related attention and emotions at 18 months. A second proposed research design, based on a larger population of dyads, is used in order to generalize our process research findings to groups that are a cross-section of the US population and groups that are potentially at risk for developmental disorders. Our goal here is to discover whether between-dyad differences in creativity of interpersonal communication are associated, within and across ages, with indices of positive emotion and flexible attention to everyday communication tasks. finally, we propose to develop new methods for the study of change processes using a narrative approach.
In summary, the proposed research has the following specific aims: (1) To study the process of development of individual differences in the coupling of infant attention and emotion in the context of the mother-infant communication system using a relational-historical approach.; (2) To generalize our findings to a larger and more diverse population using a longitudinal follow-up study; and (3) To exploit new techniques for the investigation of key dynamic processes that regulate developmental change and the origins of individual differences in attention-emotion couplings.
Report relativo alla ricerca in corso presso l’Università di Verona:
The development of attention and emotion between birth and three months
Two main aims guided this study. The first aim was to document the changes in attention-emotion couplings - in the context of mother-infant communication - across the key developmental transition from endogenous to exogenous smiling, around 2 months of age. The second one was to examine the emergence of individual differences in patterns of attention and emotion during mother-infant face-to-face communication across the same age range.
Sixteen Italian mother-infant dyads were videotaped weekly, between the ages of 1 week and 14 weeks, each time for at least 6 minutes in two different conditions: 3 min. with infant in mother's arms, and 3 min. with infant not being held by mother.