Emerging social regulatory capacities as seen in the still-face situation.Child Dev. 1990 Jun; 61(3):754-63.CD
Early mother-infant interactions support infants' abilities to deal with stressful situations such as the withdrawal of maternal attention. The "still-face" paradigm provides a framework for studying the range of social regulatory capacities available to infants during stressful times. This study examined the responses of 62 3-4-month-old infants during the still-face situation. Infants' responses were coded in real time along 3 dimensions: gaze, affect, and state. 3 findings are presented: (1) Generally, infants responded to the still-face situation with predominantly neutral affect and looking away from their mothers. (2) Infants who looked longer at their mothers early in the still-face showed longer early positive affect and protested her absence less. (3) Girls more often showed an intensely negative response to the still-face. These findings are discussed in the context of the development of social regulatory capacities in infancy.