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Title:A Comparative Analysis of Social Interactions Between Handicapped and Nonhandicapped Infants and Their Mothers
Author(s):Reisman, John
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Special
Abstract:A growing body of literature indicates that infants who experience prenatal or birth complications may be at risk for developing maladaptive social interaction patterns. Although empirical evidence describing early development of interaction patterns between handicapped infants and their mothers is limited, there is reason to believe that the stress factors associated with the care of at-risk infants are exacerbated in the handicapped infant-mother relationship and might be associated with the concomitant development of atypical interaction patterns. While investigators have addressed themselves to collecting descriptive data with handicapped infant populations, these data have generally been accumulated from narrative accounts of mother-infant interactions or from quantitative assessments of either mother or infant alone. What has not been widely attempted is the systematic assessment of both mother and infant together--observing the affective quality of their interactions through the analysis of various communicative modalities used by both members of the dyad.
This study's purpose was to assess and compare the organizational structure of handicapped and nonhandicapped infant-mother interactions with specific emphasis on the transactional nature of their responsiveness to each other. A specific methodology that would allow for the quantitative assessment of sequential patterns of interaction was designed to measure the structural relationship of mother-infant interactions. The process of data analysis involved microcoding of dyadic interactions which were then reduced to a macrobehavioral code scheme. These data were assessed in terms of frequencies and durations of occurrence of dyadic states as well as transition probabilities, which were analyzed through sequential analytic techniques.
Results indicated that mothers of the handicapped infants in this study assumed responsibility for the interactive process, while mothers of nonhandicapped infants shared that responsibility with their infants. However, toy-mediated interactions between both groups of infants and their mothers resulted in a greater sharing of responsibility for the interaction than did face-to-face interactions not mediated by the use of toys.
The sequential analytic procedures used demonstrated their applicability for assessing social interaction patterns from an empirical as well as clinical perspective. Recommendations for further research were also offered.
Issue Date:1982
Description:130 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1982.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8218547
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1982

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