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Characteristics of vocal interactions between 9-month old infants at high and low risk for autism and their mothers

Northrup, Jessie (2014) Characteristics of vocal interactions between 9-month old infants at high and low risk for autism and their mothers. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The current study aims to better understand the development of infants at heightened risk for autism (high risk infants; HR) as well as the common occurrence of language delays in this population by examining the vocal characteristics of early caregiver-infant interactions in a sample of mothers and younger siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). HR infants and infants at low risk (LR) for ASD were videotaped playing with their mothers in their homes near their 9 month birthdays. These five-minute naturalistic toy play interactions were coded for the frequency and timing of infant and mother vocalizations. While risk status of infants (HR or LR) had little influence on the characteristics of these vocal interactions, infants who went on to have language delays in toddlerhood (language delayed infants; LD) had more non-linguistic vocalizations, were more likely to interrupt and be interrupted by their mothers, and were less coordinated with their mothers in the duration of time left before responding to their partner (switching pause duration) relative to infants who did not go on to have language delays (non-delayed infants; ND). Furthermore, the coordination of switching pause durations was found to predict language development and symptom severity on a diagnostic evaluation of ASD in toddlerhood among HR infants. These findings call attention to the importance of studying the subset of HR infants who go on to have language delays as well as understanding infant development in the context of social interactions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Northrup, Jessiejbn12@pitt.eduJBN12
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairIverson, Janajiverson@pitt.eduJIVERSON
Committee MemberBrownell, Celiabrownell@pitt.eduBROWNELL
Committee MemberCampbell, Susansbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Date: 27 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 July 2013
Approval Date: 27 January 2014
Submission Date: 3 September 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 80
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: mother-infant interaction, coordination, autism, language development, language delay
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2014 17:24
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:15


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