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Titel: Sociocultural influences on the development of infants´ cultural learning skills in the first two years of life
Sonstige Titel: Der Einfluss der sozio-kulturellen Umwelt auf die Entwicklung von kulturellen Lernfähigkeiten von Kleinkindern in den ersten zwei Lebensjahren
Sprache: Englisch
Autor*in: Rüther, Johanna Nuria
Schlagwörter: soziokulturelle Umwelt; kommunikative Entwicklung; Zeigefinger zeigen; referentielles Verständnis; socio-cultural environment; communicative development; index-finger pointing; referential understanding
GND-Schlagwörter: Kognitive Entwicklung; Geste; Kleinkind
Erscheinungsdatum: 2019
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 2020-02-25
Zusammenfassung: 
Within their first two years of life, infants develop the necessary abilities to learn from others in complex ways. The development of these so-called cultural learning skills is essential to a healthy development. Infants grow up in a multitude of environments across the world, however, it is unclear whether this influences the development of cultural learning skills. We focus our studies on two abilities that are crucial to interacting with others and understanding others’ intentions, referential understanding and gestural communication, in particular the use of the index-finger pointing gesture. We use longitudinal data sampling to trace the onset and development of these abilities, as well as the influence of the socio-cultural environment.
The first study focuses on the development of referential point comprehension using a well-established paradigm by Behne at al. (2005), where hidden objects are indicated by index-finger pointing gestures. In addition we measured infants’ social-interactional experiences using a point elicitation paradigm. The results showed that referential point comprehension develops gradually around infants’ first birthday, contrary to social-cognitivists views (Csibra & Volein, 2008). We found both parental pointing as well as infants own use of the pointing gesture to be predictive of the development of referential point comprehension.
The second study addressed the ontogeny of index-finger pointing, comparing different potential predictors, both intraindividual cognitive and behavioral precursors as well as parental pointing using a point elicitation paradigm as well as observing infants’ gesture use during free play and their ability to follow a simple pointing gesture. Both intraindividual predictors as well as socialization in the form of parental pointing were predictive of the onset of index-finger pointing. Further we included a second, cross-sectional study showing parents increased pointing for infants from 6 to 8 months of age.
The third study built on the results of the second study, in looking at potential predictors of index-finger pointing but also including infants’ early language abilities and comparing parental gestural input across different settings (lab-based observations and naturalistic home-observations). Further, the third study included a more diverse sample of caregiver-infant dyads with and without a migration background. Similar to the second study, parental pointing (both at home and in the laboratory during the point elicitation paradigm) was predictive of the onset of index-finger pointing. Further predictors were parents’ referential uptake of infants’ early pointing gestures as well as parental gestures aimed at objects infants were focusing. In turn, the onset of index-finger pointing was predictive of language development, as were parental pointing gestures. Parents also adapted their input in accordance with their infants’ development, increasing gesture use once infants started to use the index-finger pointing gesture.
Together, results support social-constructivist views (Liszkowski, 2018; Vygotskiĭ, 1978) of infant development, showing that interactional experiences shape infant development already during the first year of life. Further, this relationship is not unidirectional but both are intertwined from the very beginning with infants’ emerging abilities informing caregiver interaction and caregiver interaction in turn shaping infants’ development.
URL: https://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/handle/ediss/6238
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-103631
Dokumenttyp: Dissertation
Betreuer*in: Liszkowski, Ulf (Prof. Dr.)
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen

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