Research Article - Current Pediatric Research (2021) Volume 25, Issue 3
The relationship between maternal reflexive functions and joint attention in neurotypical children.
Joint Attention (JA) can be defined as the coordination of attentional orienting between two persons towards a common object. It develops in typically developing children between 6 and 18 months of age across two phases: Initiating Joint Attention (IJA) and Responding to Joint Attention (RJA). For instance, a parent can initiate JA by pointing to an object and the child can respond by moving her eye gaze towards the parent’s pointing. JA represents one of the first precursors of the Theory of Mind (ToM) implying the person’s ability to think and reason about own and another person's mental states, inferring thoughts, beliefs, intentions and desires. Less is clear, instead, on the relationship between the development of JA abilities in children and the mentalizing abilities of mothers. In the present study, we aimed at investigating the relationships between the infant’s (age range: 15 and 20 months) behaviours relating to IJA and the maternal Reflexive Functions (RF). The results showed a significant correlation between these two skills, thus suggesting that the reflective capacity of mothers can play an important role in development of milestones of the child’s social cognition.Author(s): Frolli A*, Ricci M C, Bosco A, Mango G, Di Carmine F, Conson M, Precenzano F, Carotenuto M