Temperament is associated with the use of communicative gestures in infancy

Denise Ollas-Skogster, Pirkko Rautakoski, Saara Nolvi, Hasse Karlsson, Linnea Karlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Temperament is important to consider when investigating factors influencing communicative development in infancy. Existing research supporting the assumption that temperament and verbal language development are interrelated covers mainly verbal development in toddlerhood onward, but few studies focus on these relations in infancy. The present study of 91 infants from a general population pregnancy cohort in Finland used parent reports to investigate associations between temperament and the development of preverbal gesturing and receptive vocabulary in infancy. We found that infant temperament explained a substantially larger proportion of the variance in expressive communicative gesturing compared to receptive vocabulary. High Duration of orienting and Soothability, indicators of orienting/regulation capacity, and higher positive emotionality were found to be favorable for the use of communicative gestures. These temperament characteristics might promote interaction and thus advance communicative development. Knowledge on associations between infant temperament and communicative development is important in supporting outcomes in children with temperament characteristics possibly less favorable for communication development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • temperament
  • infant
  • communicative development
  • Vocabulary
  • gestures
  • language development


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