The development of peer interaction in infancy: Exploring the dyadic processes

Shannon Tierney Williams, Lenna L. Ontai, Ann M. Mastergeorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Peer interaction is an important component of children's social repertoires that is associated with a variety of developmental outcomes and life skills. The present study provides an in-depth study of early dyadic peer behaviors during the infancy period, during which social competence with peers is first being developed. Results from variable-centered analyses highlight the effectiveness of behaviors, such as offering objects to peers, and point to the importance of the social context set by a peer's prior social behavior and processes for eliciting peer responses. Findings from person-centered analyses reveal marked individual differences in the processes through which infants are successful in eliciting responses from their peers, illustrating the presence of multiple pathways to achieving social competence with peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-368
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyadic processes
  • Infancy
  • Peer interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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