ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (2): 141-153.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00141

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


张青1,2,3, 王争艳1()   

  1. 1首都师范大学心理学院, 儿童发展研究中心, 北京市“学习与认知”重点实验室, 北京 100048
    2中国科学院心理研究所, 北京 100101
    3中国科学院大学心理学系, 北京 100049
  • 收稿日期:2020-09-23 发布日期:2021-12-24 出版日期:2022-02-25
  • 通讯作者: 王争艳
  • 基金资助:

The interplay of maternal sensitivity and infant temperament and attention in predicting toddlers’ executive function: A two-year longitudinal study

ZHANG Qing1,2,3, WANG Zhengyan1()   

  1. 1Department of Psychology, Center for Child Development, Learning and Cognitive Key Laboratory, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
    2Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    3Department of Psychology, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-09-23 Online:2021-12-24 Published:2022-02-25
  • Contact: WANG Zhengyan


为同时探究外部因素与内部因素对学步儿执行功能的影响, 对163对母婴进行追踪测量。婴儿6个月时根据母婴自由互动录像编码母亲敏感性; 使用最长注视时长范式测量婴儿注意特征; 使用母亲报告的《婴儿行为问卷—修订短版》测量婴儿气质; 24个月时使用多位置寻找任务、形状Stroop任务、逆转分类任务、延迟满足任务测量学步儿执行功能。结果发现:(1)婴儿6个月最长注视时长能够显著正向预测24个月的多位置寻找与延迟满足任务得分。(2)母亲敏感性能够正向预测气质外向性低的婴儿24个月时的逆转分类任务表现, 对气质外向性高的婴儿24个月时的逆转分类任务表现的预测不显著。(3)母亲敏感性能够正向预测最长注视时长更长的婴儿24个月时的形状Stroop任务得分; 负向预测最长注视时长更短的婴儿24个月时的形状Stroop任务得分。研究发现了针对不同特征的婴儿, 母亲的养育敏感性对学步儿执行功能影响的差异, 这对早期教育应该如何“因材施教”有所启示。

关键词: 母亲敏感性, 气质, 注意, 执行功能, 学步儿


Executive Function (EF), proven to be linked to the prefrontal cortex, refers to a set of higher-order cognitive and self-regulatory processes. These processes include (a) inhibition, the ability to intentionally suppress prepotent impulses or habits; (b) working memory, the ability to hold multiple things in the mind at once while mentally manipulating one or more of them; and (c) cognitive flexibility or shifting, the capability to switch between tasks. However, little attention has been given to predictors of EF across the first two years of life. A principal limitation of this is a methodological challenge, due to toddlers’ limited sustained attention, poor language competence, and labile emotional state. Accordingly, in this study, we aimed to examine developmental intrinsic factors (infant attention and temperament) and the caregiving environment (maternal sensitivity) in infancy as possible predictors of EF in toddlerhood. By estimating specific contributions and interaction effects, we aimed to expand the knowledge on early mechanisms behind the development of EF in toddlerhood from an intrinsic and environmental perspective.
At six months (T1, n = 236), infants and mothers visited Center for Child Development for the assessment of maternal sensitivity and infant attention. Mothers completed questionnaires on infant temperament. Maternal sensitivity was evaluated by observing the free, interactive process between mother and children at six months. Infant temperament was assessed by mothers reporting data using the Infant Behavior Questionnaire Revised-Short Form (IBQR-SF), and infant attention was assessed using a Screen Look Duration task at six months. At 24 months (T2, n = 191), the children returned to the laboratory with an accompanying parent for an assessment battery of EF tasks, including Multilocation Search, Shape Stroop, Reverse Categorization, and Delay of Gratification tasks.
The results indicated that: (1) Peak look duration could predict working memory task and delay of gratification task performance at 24 months. This provides empirical support for the hierarchical framework of EF development, advocating early attention as a foundation for the development of EF. (2) High levels of maternal sensitivity significantly predicted better EF performance among children with low levels of surgency in infancy. However, there was no link between maternal sensitivity and EF among children with medium to high levels of surgency in infancy. (3) Interaction effects suggested that maternal sensitivity positively predicted EF performance among children with high levels of peak look duration in infancy. However, maternal sensitivity negatively predicted EF performance among children with low levels of peak look duration in infancy.
Overall, our findings indicate the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in the development of EF in toddlers and provide key insights about parenting. For infants with a lower level of surgency or longer peak look duration, maternal sensitivity positively predicted EF performance in toddlerhood. However, for infants with shorter peak look duration, excessive maternal sensitivity may not be desirable.

Key words: maternal sensitivity, temperament, attention, executive function, toddler