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

Peter C. Mundy and C. Françoise Acra

in The Development of Social Engagement

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195168716
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847853 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

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

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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

Chapter.  17413 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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