Increasing Independence in the Control of Attention

Holly Alliger Ruff and Mary Klevjord Rothbart

in Attention in Early Development

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195136326
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894031 | DOI:
Increasing Independence in the Control of Attention

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Early in life, parents and others help to regulate infant state by soothing and arousing the child, promoting desired states of arousal. They also influence the direction of the child's attention during social and object interaction. Parent practices influencing arousal and selection are in turn subject to cultural influence. Beginning late in the first year and over the early years, the child develops inhibitory control, private speech, and deployment of attention in the service of internal goals — processes that allow self-regulation of attention. Children also come to recognize social standards and develop the motivation to please others and to comply with their directives. By the age of four, children use strategies to control their own attention, resisting distraction in order to attend to a task.

Keywords: other-regulation; self-regulation; state; culture; goals; planning; volitional control; motivation

Chapter.  10574 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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