Infant Vocalizations and Imitation as a Result of Adult Contingent Imitation

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Abstract

Previous studies have shown that vocal imitation is critical in the development of early language acquisition; however, few studies have evaluated the use of socially mediated reinforcement to increase infant vocal imitation. This brief report contributes to the existing literature by demonstrating the impact that adult vocal imitation may have on the frequency of infant vocalizations. Specifically, the present study compared the use of contingent and noncontingent adult responses following infant vocalizations and infant vocal imitation of 3 infants of typical development ranging from 3 to 14 months of age. By implementing an alternating treatment design, results suggested that adult contingent vocal imitation produces the highest frequency of infant vocalization and infant vocal imitation.

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