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AbstractSelf-awareness is defined as one’s ability to differentiate themselves from others, and is influenced by early life experiences (Fonagy, Gergely, & Jurist, 2003). Some children develop self-awareness earlier than others (e.g., Amsterdam, 1972; Lewis & Ramsey, 2004), however, the developmental field has largely neglected to consider how parents may influence the attainment of self-awareness. The present study aimed to explore how typical mother-child interactions might influence infant self-awareness and whether there was a link between object awareness and body self-awareness. In addition, it was predicted that there would be an association between infant mirror-recognition and body self-awareness as found in previous research (Moore, Mealiea, Garon, & Povinelli, 2007). Infants aged between 15-18 months (N=12) were recruited to test their body self-awareness and self-recognition by use of a toy shopping trolley task and mirror-recognition test respectively. The original hypothesis was not supported; there was no association found between infant mirror-recognition and body self-awareness. Additionally, the observed mother-child interactions did not influence infant self-awareness and there were no links found between object awareness and body self-awareness. The limitations of the study included the small sample size and the lack of longitudinal data. Implications for future research include a larger number of participants, together with collecting longitudinal and cross-cultural data to examine any cultural differences in infant self-awareness.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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