The Toddler’s Emerging Interactive Skills

  • Carol O. Eckerman
  • Mark R. Stein


A socially skilled toddler might well be described by parents and teachers as a child who can achieve a variety of important social outcomes in ways approved of by such socialization groups as the family, school, and neighborhood playgroup. Attaining attention, comfort, affection, praise, information, and help from others, giving the same to others, cooperating with others in performing tasks, engaging in conventional games, carrying on conversation, generating games of pretend, resolving disputes, and forming and maintaining friendships might be among the important social outcomes mentioned. Reasonable as such a description of social skill may appear, our current knowledge of early social behavior falls far short of providing answers to the questions generated by such a description: How does the young child attain important social outcomes? How do the skills involved develop? How may the development of social skill go awry? The aims of the present chapter are three: (1) to provide a conceptualization of the type of skills required for attaining important social outcomes; (2) to summarize current knowledge about one set of such skills, that involved in cooperative play; and (3) to explore two research strategies for discovering and assessing the social skills of toddlers. First, however, a brief summary of other lines of research on early social development is required, since the present efforts rest upon these past accomplishments.


Social Skill Social Partner Social Play Complementary Relationship Interactive Skill 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol O. Eckerman
  • Mark R. Stein

There are no affiliations available

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