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Intersubjective Interaction Between Deaf Parents/Deaf Infants During the Infant's First 18 Months

Journal article
Authors C. Roos
E. Cramer-Wolrath
Kerstin Watson Falkman
Published in Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Volume 21
Issue 1
Pages 11-22
ISSN 1081-4159
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 11-22
Language en
Keywords developmental perspective, qualitative research, hearing children, joint, attention, language, mothers, mind, communication, impact, Education & Educational Research, Rehabilitation
Subject categories Psychology


This study is part of a larger longitudinal project with the aim of focusing early social interaction and development of mentalizing ability in 12 deaf infants, including the interaction between the infants and their deaf parents. The aim of the present paper is to describe early social interaction and moments of intersubjectivity between the deaf infants and their deaf parents during the first 18 months of the infant's life. The study is focused on the dyadic interaction rather than on the behaviors of the infant and the caregiver separately. In the analysis, the Intersubjective Developmental Theory Model (Loots, Devis,, & Sermijn, 2003) and the definitions of moments of intersubjectivity (Loots, Devis,, & Jacquet, 2005) were used. The findings show that the participating infants follow a typical developmental trajectory of intersubjectivity, both with regard to developmental stages and age. This development is supported by a visual, simultaneous way of communicating by gaze rather than having constant eye contact. Parents use complex visual communication skills in maintaining joint attention and also expect the infant to grasp the meaning of the interaction by use of gaze contact.

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