Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

The development of joint attention and vocalization in infants at heightened risk for autism spectrum disorder

Heymann, Perrine (2015) The development of joint attention and vocalization in infants at heightened risk for autism spectrum disorder. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (432kB)


This study was designed to evaluate joint attention (JA) and vocalizations and their co-occurrence in infants who are at heightened risk for autism spectrum disorder (HR). This prospective longitudinal study examined 50 HR infants, with 9 who received an ASD diagnosis, 15 who received a language delay (LD) and 26 who received no diagnosis (ND) at 14, 18 and 24 months. The Early Social Communication Scales, a structured toy play segment that assesses initiation and response to different types of JA, was administered to each infant at each age point in the home. JA behaviors, vocalizations, and instances where they overlapped were coded from videos. Findings indicated that infants in all three outcome groups produced similar rates of JA behaviors, with the exception of initiating JA. Rates of vocalizations and vocalization quality increased over time in all outcome groups. However, there were still significant differences between outcome groups at 24 months in the types of vocalizations that were most frequently produced. The ASD group consistently produced a higher proportion of lower quality vocalizations compared to its LD and ND peers. Lastly, compared to their LD and ND peers, the ASD group consistently paired fewer vocalizations with a JA behavior. These findings highlight a specific delay in coordinating behaviors in infants who later receive an ASD diagnosis and the importance of observing these behaviors to better understand how JA and vocalizations develop in a HR population.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairIverson, Jana M.
Committee MemberWilliams, Diane L.
Committee MemberGanger, Jennifer
Committee MemberNorthrup, Jessie
Date: 22 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2015
Approval Date: 22 April 2015
Submission Date: 16 April 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 46
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Joint Attention, Vocalization, Coordination
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 17:00
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:27


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item