Comparing Parent and Child Interactive Play in the Lab and Home: A Look Into a Child's Optimal Visual Learning Experience



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Recent technological advancement allows developmental researchers to use small cameras that can be attached to a child's and parent’s head and document first person view, characterizing child’s and parent’s visual experiences. However, this mainly took place in the laboratory and has recently been introduced into the home setting. There are some uncertainty whether or not laboratory studies accurately reflect everyday interactions between the parent and child. In order to further understand this concept and validate previous laboratory studies in the home, we brought common laboratory equipment, such as the eye tracking cameras, toys, and furniture, into the participant’s home to investigate 1) the feasibility of replicating laboratory studies with head cameras and eye tracking devices and 2) the similarities and differences in typical parental scaffolding behaviors and infant visual experiences in the two settings. This study serves as a feasibility study as well as a case study with one parent and child dyad in each setting (both babies are 10 months old, White, male, and have high SES). Results indicate that parent object holding, object naming, and infant visual gaze have longer duration in the laboratory, however parent verbal behaviors are similar across the two settings. These findings support parental scaffolding behaviors previously observed in laboratory settings, however, they show that these behaviors are more prominent in the laboratory.



parent-child interactions, head cameras, home studies, visual experiences