THE USE OF SIGN LANGUAGE TO REDUCE NEGATIVE INTERACTIONS AND INCREASE POSITIVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN INFANTS AND CAREGIVERS
Master of Science
Department or Program
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Greene, Brandon F.
Many studies have been conducted in the last several years, investigating the many benefits of the use of infant sign language as a child management tool, to improve language and cognitive skills, and to enhance the communication between parent and infant. Although many studies state that infant sign language increases the bond between parent and infant, few researchers have engaged in studies to prove or disprove this theory. The purpose of the current study is to investigate how infant sign language can be used to increase or decrease bonding between parent and infant, as measured through the quality and quantity of parent-infant interactions. Three parent and infant pairs participated in this study. The infants ranged in ages from 11 months to 14 months. Positive and negative interactions were measured through the use of partial interval recording of target interactions (positive and negative verbalizations, positive and negative affect, positive and negative touch, look, gestures, and manual signs). Partial interval recording of the interactions between the parent and infant pairs was implemented, before (baseline) and after (sign training phase) the introduction of infant sign. The pairs were observed in various locations and at various times of day. The results indicated a slight increase in positive interactions and a slight decrease in negative interactions following the introduction of infant sign language.