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    Capturing touch in parent-infant interaction: a comparison of methods

    Brzozowska, Alicja and Longo, Matthew R. and Mareschal, Denis and Wiesemann, F. and Gliga, Teodora (2021) Capturing touch in parent-infant interaction: a comparison of methods. Infancy 26 (3), pp. 494-514. ISSN 1525-0008.

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    Naturally occurring high levels of caregiver touch promote offspring development in many animal species. Yet, caregiver touch remains a relatively understudied topic in human development, possibly due to challenges of measuring this means of interaction. While parental reports (e.g., questionnaires, diaries) are easy to collect, they may be subject to biases and memory limitations. In contrast, observing touch in a short session of parent-child interaction in the lab may not be representative of touch interaction in daily life. In the present study we compared parent-reports (one-off questionnaires and diary) and observation-based methods in a sample of German 6- to 13-month-olds and their primary caregivers (n= 71). In an attempt to characterize touching behaviours across a broad range of contexts, we measured touch both during play and while the parent was engaged in another activity. We found that context affected both the quantity and types of touch used in interaction. Parent-reported touch was moderately associated with touch observed in parent-child interactions and more strongly with touch used during play. We conclude that brief one-off questionnaires are a good indicator of touch in parent-child interaction, yet they may be biased towards representing particular daily activities and particular types of touch.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the article, which has been published in final form at the link above. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 06:13
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:07


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