Document Detail

Gaze aversion during social interaction in preterm infants: A function of attention skills?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21893348     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Preterm infants avert their gaze more often and for longer periods in early social interactions compared to full term infants. In previous studies this finding is interpreted as being a function of the higher degree of parental stimulation that is often found in parents of preterm children. The current study explores an additional hypothesis. Since the development of general visual attention abilities is found to be less optimal in preterm children, it is possible that less optimal maturation of attention abilities partially explains the elevated gaze aversion in a social context. Therefore, the current study investigated the association between gaze aversion in a social context and the ability to disengage and shift visual attention in a non-social context in 20 preterm and 42 full term infants aged 4 and 6 months. Results confirm that preterm infants are slower to shift their attention in a non-social context and that they avert their gaze more often in a social context compared to full term children. Furthermore, more frequent gaze aversion during social interaction at 6 months was related to longer disengagement and the shifting of attention at 4 and 6 months, but only within the preterm group. The results suggest that attention maturation is less optimal in preterm children; this can be observed in a non-social as well as a social context. Less attention maturation in preterm children can negatively influence the amount of time they can stay actively involved in social interaction.
Leentje De Schuymer; Isabel De Groote; Annemie Desoete; Herbert Roeyers
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-9-3
Journal Detail:
Title:  Infant behavior & development     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1934-8800     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-9-6     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7806016     Medline TA:  Infant Behav Dev     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Department of Experimental Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, H. Dunantlaan 2, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.
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