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During infancy, children master the rudiments of communication, including the intricacies of social interaction and the complexities of emotional, gestural, and symbolic expression. This book traces childrens developmental path from birth through the third year of life, providing an integrative view of their multifaceted accomplishments. Drawing on the theories of Piaget, Werner, and Vygotsky, Adamson constructs a frame for drawing together the vast literature on infants perception, cognition, expression, and social relationships as related to early communication. The author reviews four normative phases of communication along the developmental path between infants first intense moments of interpersonal sharing and their sustained, language-filled dialogues about objects and events. At each phase, she considers the infant as an expressive and a receptive communicator, the caregivers role as a communicative partner, the dyadic structure of communicative interactions, and how atypical conditions such as prematurity, deafness, maternal depression, and autism affect the developing communication system.
This book should serve as a valuable text for advanced courses in developmental psychology, infancy, and language acquisition. It will also provide students and professionals in psychology, education, communication, and pediatrics with a well-documented overview of an exciting area of contemporary developmental research.
Lauren B. Adamson is professor of psychology and associate dean for the social sciences at Georgia State University.