Origins of individual differences in imitation: links with language, pretend play, and socially insightful behavior in two-year-old twins

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50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Imitation, vocabulary, pretend play, and socially insightful behavior were investigated in 5,206 same- and opposite-sex 2-year-old twin pairs in the United Kingdom. Individual differences in imitative ability were due to modest heritability (30%), while environmental factors shared between twins (42%) and unique to each twin (28%) also made significant contributions to the variance. Imitation correlated significantly, although modestly, with vocabulary, pretend play, and socially insightful behavior, and the strongest relationship was with vocabulary. A model that represented the covariance between the variables as being due to correlated latent genetic and environmental factors fitted the data well, with shared environmental factors influencing most of the covariance. Parents who encourage imitation may also tend to foster the development of language, pretence, and socially insightful behavior
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474 - 492
Number of pages19
JournalChild Development
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Awareness
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fantasy
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Individuality
  • Language Development
  • Male
  • Parenting
  • Personal Construct Theory
  • Phenotype
  • Play and Playthings
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Environment
  • Socialization
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Twins
  • Twins, Dizygotic
  • Twins, Monozygotic
  • Vocabulary

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