Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wallace E. Dixon Jr.

Committee Members

Andrea D. Clements, Jon B. Ellis


Individual differences in child temperament have been associated with individual differences in language development; similarly, relationships have been separately reported among temperament, language and early nonverbal social communication (joint attention). The present study examined the relationship between temperament and language, in the context of joint attention as an underlying developmental variable mediating this association. Temperament, language and joint attention were assessed in 51 Appalachian 21-month-old toddlers. Results indicate a relationship between aspects of temperamental difficulty, including low executive control and high negative affect, and low language. A relationship was also found between temperament and joint attention, such that aspects of high negative affect were predictive of less frequent joint attention engagement. No association was found between joint attention and language at 21 months. Therefore in general, the utility for a model of joint attention as a mediating variable in the relationship between temperament and language was not substantiated.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons