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Smiling and crying emotional expressions in infant-peer relationships in day care center context.

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Marisa von Dentz
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Ribeirão Preto.
Institution: Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (PCARP/BC)
Defense date:
Examining board members:
Katia de Souza Amorim; Maria Clotilde Therezinha Rossetti Ferreira; Maria Isabel Patricio de Carvalho Pedrosa
Advisor: Katia de Souza Amorim

Emotional expression is a primary means of human infant communication and its manifestation is a resource that guarantees their survival. This theme has been extensively studied, usually in the infant\'s relationship with adults, more particularly with the mother, in laboratory conditions and home environment. However, new social configurations have emerged in which the care of young children has been increasingly shared with educational institutions, where infant peers are the most frequent partners. A literature review related to emotional expressiveness among infant peers highlights gaps in this field, and there are authors who do not recognize the occurrence infant peer interaction, since such phenomenon in the first two years of life is not seen as feasible. Thus, this work aims to verify if there are manifestations of smiling and crying emotional expressions in infant peer interactions in a day care nursery environment. And, if affirmative, well seek to investigate how do these manifestations occur. With theoretical and methodological basis in the Network of Meanings perspective, we conducted a longitudinal a multiple case study cases with qualitative analysis. The participants were eighteen infants from a public day care center in the state of São Paulo, with three teachers responsible for the class. Among all the babies, Tiago (five to ten months old) and Bruno (eight months to one year and one month of age) were the focal subjects. Weekly thirty-minute (per participant) video recordings were conducted for five months. The analysis of the empirical material was developed in two stages: 1) mapping of smiling and crying expressions in peer-interaction, identifying the peer involved; and, 2) qualitative analysis of interactive episodes in which the focal subjects emotionally expressed themselves with peers. Based on different forms of infant expression, both based on the literature and empirical data, the following emotional expression, categories were created: laughter, smiling, whimpering, crying and prolonged crying. In the analysis, there was no occurrence of laughter in infant peer interactions, at least in the scenes recorded. Regarding Tiago, smiles were first manifested in play situations and changed over time. Around eight / nine months both subjects` smiling began to impact partners, who would briefly respond to the expression. Bruno smiling episodes demonstrated a variety of senses identifiable in the interactions, smiling not only toward peers, but also with and due to peers. Despite the changes in the subjects` smiling over time, the process were not expressed in a linear fashion. In crying expressions, change concerning quality and length of expressions was observed, but there were no differences in peer interactions. Peer interactions in which Tiago cried were related mostly to the discomfort arising from intrusive physical contact with other babies. In Bruno`s case, crying occurred mostly in interactions involving annoyance by competition situations or loss of toys. For both expressions studied, we found that smiles, although less frequent among peers, have caused more reaction in peers. Future studies investigating this theme are needed, given the importance and great variety of the emotional expressiveness manifestations in infants peer interactions in collective environments. (AU)

FAPESP's process: 14/02669-8 - Emotional expressions of laugh and cry within infant's interaction with peers, in daycare center
Grantee:Marisa von Dentz
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master