- Doctoral Thesis (1) (remove)
- Developmental dynamics of declarative memory from infancy to childhood (2007)
- Deferred imitations assess declarative memory in infants. Many cross-sectional and a few longitudinal studies revealed that, with development, infants learn faster,and retain more target actions over longer retention intervals. Longitudinal stabilities are modest and increase through the second year. To date, there are only few multivariate deferred imitation studies pointing to interactions between declarative memory, language and self-development. However, as these studies applied variable-centered data analysis approaches, the individual stance was not taken into account.Therefore, the present dissertation focuses on the explanation of inter-individual differences of deferred imitation through the second year. In the multivariate, longitudinal Frankfurt Memory Study (FRAMES), declarative memory (deferred imitation), non-declarative memory (train task), as well as cognitive, language, motor, social, emotional and body self-awareness development (Developmental Test for 6-month- to 6-year-olds, ET6-6) were assessed on three measurement occasions (12-, 18- and 24-month-olds). From a psychometric perspective, sound tests for the assessment of deferred imitation in the respective age groups were developed (Paper 1 & 2). Reliability analyses (Paper 3) indicated relatively high short-term-stability for the deferred imitation test (12-month-olds). The co-development of declarative and nondeclarative memory in 12- and 18-month-olds provided evidence for discriminative validity (Paper 4). Longitudinally, deferred imitation performance tremendously increased throughout the second year, and performance was moderately stable between 12 and 18 months and stability increased between 18 and 24 months. Using a person-centered analysis approach (relative difference scores; cluster analysis), developmental subgroups were extracted out of the total sample. These groups differed in terms of mean growth and stability. However, between the first and second measurement occasion, the groups did not differ with respect to motor, cognitive and language development (Paper 5). Using the data of three measurement occasions, subgroups were extracted showing significant differences with respect to language, motor and body self-awareness development (Paper 6). The results are discussed against the background of infancy development theories.