Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development


Lori A. Roggman


Toy sharing between 97 Infants and their mothers was used to measure shared reference, mother and infant attention-directing strategies, and maternal and infant responsiveness. The association of toy sharing with early language and symbolic play was assessed. Infants were videotaped in a 10-minute free-play session at 11 months. Videotapes were coded for frequency of toy exchanges and level of infant symbolic play. Language was assessed at both 11 and 14 months. Maternal responsiveness to infant-initiated toy exchanges was positively related to symbolic play at 11 months. Maternal responsiveness was also related to Productive, Receptive, and Total Language scores at 14 months. Symbolic play at 11 months and language at 11 and 14 months were associated, suggesting underlying cognitive abilities associated with language and play development. Results support the notion that shared reference, maternal responsiveness, and underlying infant cognitive abilities are important components of a context where scaffolding of language and symbolic play can occur.