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The Development of Social EngagementNeurobiological Perspectives$
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Peter J. Marshall and Nathan A. Fox

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195168716

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168716.001.0001

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Joint Attention, Social Engagement, and the Development of Social Competence

Joint Attention, Social Engagement, and the Development of Social Competence

(p.81) 4 Joint Attention, Social Engagement, and the Development of Social Competence
The Development of Social Engagement

Peter C. Mundy

C. Françoise Acra

Oxford University Press

The development of joint attention reflects and contributes to the early developmental processes necessary for social engagement and social competence in infants. Results of longitudinal studies suggest that the tendencies of infants to initiate joint attention (IJA) bids could be predictive of some aspects of social engagement and social competence during childhood. Observations further suggest that more frequent IJA bids during infancy could be used as a marker of at-risk children's vulnerability to poor social outcomes. IJA measures may be useful in identifying children who are likely to have hyperactivity and attention problems, or those who may have stronger resistance to the negative impact of moderate attachment disturbances. Measures of joint attention could provide unique data on processes affecting developmental continuity, risk, and social outcomes for children.

Keywords:   joint attention, social engagement, social competence, childhood, infants, hyperactivity, attention problems

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