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Between Terror and Trust: Patterns of Parent-Infant Communication in Play
Unformatted Document Text:  Between Terror and Trust: Patterns of Parent-Infant Communication in Play What thou hast inherited from the fathers, labour for, in order to possess it. -- Goethe INTRODUCTION This talk aims to throw light on the patterns that regulate certain types of parent- infant communication. We focus on playful transactions that involve an element of pretend danger. Many of these typically involve fathers rather than mothers, although in our material mothers frequently express their appreciation for the behavior. We use video analysis to determine the various components of the interaction, and draw on theoretical work by Piaget (1952, 1954), Bruner & Sherwood (1978), Vygotsky (1978), Fauconnier and Turner (1996), and Steen & Owens (2001) to elucidate the psychological dynamics that drive these communicational patterns. The empirical basis for the presentation is an ongoing project of videotaping parent-infant interactions in four US families, in addition to some European material. Typically, it is the parents that do the actual video recording, but the presenters have also done some of the taping. Because the interactions we are interested in typically take place only in a limited set of circumstances, namely when the children feel particularly safe and surrounded by supportive and intimately familiar caretakers, it is necessary to rely on the parents to record the interactions themselves. Parents are given the instruction to videotape themselves interacting with their infants and toddlers when the children are warm, safe, rested, and free of pressing practical necessities. The goal is to capture communicational patterns that arise in spontaneous playful interactions. While this material shows a wide variety of different types of playful interactions, this presentation

Authors: Kyas, Jirina. and Steen, Francis.
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Between Terror and Trust:
Patterns of Parent-Infant Communication in Play
What thou hast inherited from the fathers, labour for, in order to possess it.
-- Goethe

INTRODUCTION
This talk aims to throw light on the patterns that regulate certain types of parent-
infant communication. We focus on playful transactions that involve an element of
pretend danger. Many of these typically involve fathers rather than mothers, although in
our material mothers frequently express their appreciation for the behavior. We use video
analysis to determine the various components of the interaction, and draw on theoretical
work by Piaget (1952, 1954), Bruner & Sherwood (1978), Vygotsky (1978), Fauconnier
and Turner (1996), and Steen & Owens (2001) to elucidate the psychological dynamics
that drive these communicational patterns.
The empirical basis for the presentation is an ongoing project of videotaping
parent-infant interactions in four US families, in addition to some European material.
Typically, it is the parents that do the actual video recording, but the presenters have also
done some of the taping. Because the interactions we are interested in typically take place
only in a limited set of circumstances, namely when the children feel particularly safe and
surrounded by supportive and intimately familiar caretakers, it is necessary to rely on the
parents to record the interactions themselves. Parents are given the instruction to
videotape themselves interacting with their infants and toddlers when the children are
warm, safe, rested, and free of pressing practical necessities. The goal is to capture
communicational patterns that arise in spontaneous playful interactions. While this
material shows a wide variety of different types of playful interactions, this presentation


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