Contextual Effect on Parent-Infant Interactions During Object Play



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The observational method has long been used to address a variety of research questions when investigating behaviors and interactions. To report naturally occurring behaviors, it is important to take the situational differences into account. The present study aims to address this potential effect of the observation environment on parent-infant social interactions. Previous studies have found mixed results in whether or not laboratory studies actually reflect everyday play behaviors between the parent and infant. However, those studies are limited to individual behaviors produced by the mother and child, and shift focus on how the situational effect may impact their coordinated interactions. In this study, we used head mounted cameras to document parent’s behaviors and child’s experiences to consider the relation as a function of type of observation environment (lab vs. home). By studying the direct interactive behaviors between the two, this study can offer insights into the mechanism of the contextual effect and how to better retain naturally occurring social behaviors in future observational studies.