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Behavior of Young Children with Down Syndrome before the Mirror: Exploration

Katherine A. Loveland
Child Development
Vol. 58, No. 3 (Jun., 1987), pp. 768-778
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130213
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130213
Page Count: 11
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Behavior of Young Children with Down Syndrome before the Mirror: Exploration
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Abstract

Exploratory behaviors of Down Syndrome (DS) and Nondelayed (ND) young children between the mental ages of 16 and 32 months were examined in 4 situations involving finding things seen in a large standing mirror: free play, marked face, finding the reflected mother, and finding a reflected toy. Behaviors coded from videotape included observing the self making faces, kissing the mirror, patting the mirror, comparing a person or object with the mirror image, looking behind the mirror, touching own body, and staring at another's image. Both ND and DS children used these behaviors and were able to adapt their choice of behaviors to demands of particular tasks. However, DS and ND children differed in number, type, and frequency of exploratory behaviors. DS children used a greater variety of behaviors and used them more frequently than ND children. DS children used a less focused selection of behaviors, and behaviors involving switching attention were performed only by ND children. For most behaviors examined, mental and chronological age were not related to amount of exploration. Results are interpreted in terms of the role of different behaviors in exploration of the mirror.

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