From a cognitive-level model of development in the first 2 years of life, it was hypothesized that social and object skills can be equated for cognitive complexity and that correlations between measures organized according to levels are high for all samples spanning the developmental range. The hypothesis was tested, assessing cognitive level of object skills with the Adapted Uzgiris-Hunt (1975) Scales (AUHS) and cognitive level of social skills with the Early Social-Communication Scales (ESCS). Subjects included 50 normal and 34 organically handicapped children, matched for Bayley Mental Age (MA range = 4-24 mos.). Because correlations between both cognitive and noncognitive variables that increase with chronological age (CA) are all high in normal samples, obscuring interpretation of the correlations, the handicapped sample included only children with at least a 3-month difference between their MA and Bayley psychomotor age (PA) to attenuate some of the usual associations. Results confirmed the hypothesis of equivalent AUHS and ESCS means and AUHS-ESCS correlations for both samples. Because all variables were highly correlated for the normal sample, regression analyses controlling CA and PA uncovered a strong, specifically cognitively-mediated relationship only for the handicapped sample, as predicted. Implications for a cognitive-level model are discussed.
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