Infants enter the world prepared to learn about their environments and to become effective social partners, while most parents are equally prepared to support these early emergent skills. Through subtle, nonconscious behaviors, parents guide their infants in the regulation of emotions, language acquisition, and participation in social exchanges. For example, Deaf mothers modify their signed communication when it is directed to an infant, in much the same way that hearing adults vary their pitch and melodic contours when speaking to an infant. Both hearing and Deaf parents may also accommodate to an infant's hearing status during play interactions in ways that facilitate the child's attention to both the object and the social world. In the present study, such intuitive parenting behaviors were compared at infant ages 6, 9, 12, and 18 months, based on observations of Deaf and hearing mother-infant dyads.


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pp. 5-18
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