The road to conventional tool use: Developmental changes in children's material engagement with artifacts in nursery school
EntityUAM. Departamento de Psicología Evolutiva y de la Educación
10.1111/infa.12522Infancy (2022): 1-22
ISSN1525-0008 (print); 1532-7078 (online)
Funded byMinisterio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, Grant/Award Number: FPU16/05358
Rights© 2022 The Authors
Esta obra está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución 4.0 Internacional.
The development of tool use in early childhood is a topic of continuing interest in developmental psychology. However, the lack of studies in ecological settings results in many unknowns about how children come to use artifacts according to their cultural function. We report a longitudinal study with 17 sociodemographically diverse children (8 female) attending a nursery school in Madrid (Spain) and their two adult female teachers. Using mixed-effects models and Granger causality analysis, we measured changes in the frequency and duration of children's object uses between 7 and 17 months of age and in the directional influences among pairs of behaviors performed by teachers and children. Results show a clear shift in how children use artifacts. As early as 12 months of age, the frequency of conventional uses outweighs that of all other types of object use. In addition, object uses become shorter in duration with age, irrespective of their type. Moreover, certain teachers' nonlinguistic communicative strategies (e.g., demonstrations of canonical use and placing gestures) significantly influence and promote children's conventional tool use. Findings shed light on how children become increasingly proficient in conventional tool use through interactions with artifacts and others in nursery school
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Google Scholar:Alessandroni Bentancor, Nicolás Jesús
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