Attention Engagement in Early Infancy

Oliver Perra, Merideth Gattis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


We report a longitudinal study investigating developmental changes in the structure of attention engagement during early infancy. Forty-three infants were observed monthly from 2 to 4 months. Attention engagement was assessed from play interactions with parents, using a coding system developed by Bakeman and Adamson (1984). The results indicated a developmental transition in attention engagement at 3 months: after this age infants engaged for longer periods and in a wider variety of states. Most infants displayed person engagement at 2 months, passive joint engagement at 3 months, and object engagement at 4 months. To address whether emerging abilities of attention engagement allow infants to follow the attention of social partners, we compared attention engagement to performance on an experimental measure of attention control (reported by Perra & Gattis, 2010). Analyses revealed a positive relation between passive joint engagement and checking back, suggesting that changes in passive joint engagement reflect the development in attention control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-644
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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