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Maternal Responses to Communication of Infants at Low and Heightened Risk for Autism

Leezenbaum, Nina B (2012) Maternal Responses to Communication of Infants at Low and Heightened Risk for Autism. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The current study investigated maternal responses to infant communication among mothers of infants at heightened risk (HR) for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and mothers of infants at low risk (LR) for the disorder at 13 and 18 months. Infants and mothers were observed during naturalistic in-home interactions and semi-structured play. By 18 months, HR infants demonstrated delays in developmentally advanced communicative behaviors (pointing, showing, words) as compared to LR infants. Regarding maternal responses, overall mothers of HR infants responded as frequently as mothers of LR infants. However, our data indicated that from 13 to 18 months, mothers of LR infants increased their responsiveness to non-word vocalizations while mothers of HR infants did not. In addition, mothers of both HR and LR infants were more likely to label the referent of developmentally advanced gestures (pointing/showing) than earlier emerging gestures (giving/requesting). These findings suggest that mothers may provide richer responses to more developmentally advanced communication. Thus, delays in infant gesture and speech could alter the input infants receive leading to potential cascading effects on language development.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Leezenbaum, Nina Bnbl3@pitt.eduNBL3
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairIverson, Jana
Committee CoChairCampbell, Susan
Committee MemberBrownell, Celia
Date: 31 January 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 June 2011
Approval Date: 31 January 2012
Submission Date: 18 November 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 63
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: High risk studies, Infant siblings, Communication development, Parent child interaction, Autistic disorder
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2012 17:19
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:55

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  • Maternal Responses to Communication of Infants at Low and Heightened Risk for Autism. (deposited 31 Jan 2012 17:19) [Currently Displayed]


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