Joint Attention, Social Competence, and Developmental Psychopathology

Peter Clive Mundy, Marian Sigman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

40 Scopus citations


The models of joint attention development are: the caregiver/scaffolding model; the social-cognitive model; the social motivation model; and the neurodevelopmental executive function model. This chapter examines the nature and validity of these models, examining autism, measurement issues, parietal-temporal and frontal processes, and dorsal-medial cortical functions. The literature and ideas discussed revolve around several main themes. First, the study of joint attention has relevance for those interested in more general aspects of social competence associated with the development of social motivation, self-regulation, and executive processes. Second, research suggests that observation of joint attention skills may provide unique information about early social neuropsychological processes that contribute social competence development. Third, joint attention may be a vehicle or platform for social constructivist process in early development. Finally, joint attention provides an operationalization and means of measuring individual differences in the tendency of young children to engage in episodes of intersubjectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTheory and Method
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939383
ISBN (Print)0471237361, 9780471237365
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism
  • Childhood social competence
  • Developmental psychopathology
  • Dorsal-medial cortical functions
  • Frontal processes
  • Infant joint attention
  • Joint attention models
  • Parietal-temporal process
  • Social constructivist process

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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