Spontaneous and elicited smiles and vocalizations of infants in four Israeli environments

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19 Scopus citations


Compared smiling behavior of infants during a regular waking day to their smiling during a brief elicitation by the mother and investigated the extent to which a mother is able to intentionally elicit smiling or vocalization. 76 male infants at ages 2, 4, 7, and 11 mo from kibbutz, Bedouin, middle-class, and lower-class environments were observed in the presence of their mothers for one complete day. Mothers were asked to try to elicit smiles from their infants and then to attempt to make their infants vocalize. Results indicate that 2-mo-olds smiled least and that Ss from different environments differed in rate of smiling during the entire day of observation. Age and environment differences disappeared and the rate of smiling was 5 times higher for the intentional brief elicitation of smiling. The rate of smiling decreased and age differences reappeared when mothers tried to elicit vocalization. In this situation vocalization was more readily induced. Mothers' behavior during the 2 elicitations and the effects of environment and infant's age on mothers' behavior are presented and discussed. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-400
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • role of mother, spontaneous vs elicited smiles & vocalizations, male 2 vs 4 vs 7 vs 11 mo olds from kibbutz vs Bedouin vs middle vs lower class environments, Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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