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Lauren Adamson

Emeritus, Regents Professor    

B.A., Swarthmore College, 1970
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1977


Communication and language development, parent-child interactions, early social cognition, typical and atypical developmental trajectories


My primary research focus is communication development from early moments of mutual alertness to complex conversations. I have been particularly interested in the transformation of joint engagement, the active sharing of object and events during social interactions. Through the study of both typical and atypical developmental paths, I strive to contribute to theoretical understandings of social and cognitive development and to inform applied efforts to facilitate early communication and language acquisition.


As an Emerita faculty member, I no longer direct a laboratory within the department where I mentor students.  However, I continue to be an active researcher with several on-going projects.  Currently my primary project is focused on how children share speech, music, and environmental sounds with caregivers.  With funding from NICHD/NIH, I am collaborating with Roger Bakeman, Katharine Suma, and Diana Robins to describe how auditory joint engagement typically develops from 12 to 30 months and how developmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affect this developmental process.  In addition, I am continuing to study how ASD affects gesturing, how the quality of early joint engagement supports language and literacy development of young low-income children, and how best to refine strategies for the early detection of ASD.


I am also continuing to work with research groups to adapt the Joint Engagement Rating Inventory (the JERI) and the Communication Play Protocol (the CPP), two systematic observational methods that I developed with Roger Bakeman during our studies of joint engagement, to suit their specific studies.   These techniques are now being used generate reliable and nuanced data to describe interactions in several cultural contexts and to assess the effectiveness of parent-focused interventions for children who are at risk for communication difficulties and language delay.  Technical reports detailing these procedures are available upon request.


For additional publications, please see my CV or my Google Scholar Profile.

Publications 2018 – 

  • Adamson, L. B., Bakeman, R., Suma, K., & Robins, D. L. (2019).  An expanded view of joint attention:  Skill, engagement, and language in typical development and autism. Child Development, 90 (1), e1-e18
  • Adamson, L. B., Bakeman, R., Suma, K., & Robins, D. L. (2019).  Sharing sounds:  The development of auditory joint engagement in early parent-child interactions. Developmental Psychology. Advanced on-line publication.
  • Baumann, S. D., Özçalışkan, S., & Adamson, L. B. (2019, Accepted).  Does autism affect gesturing during parent-child interactions in the early school years? Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders, 67, 101440.
  • Barker, R. M., Romski, M. A., Sevcik, R. A., Adamson, L. B., Smith, A. L., & Bakeman, R. A. (2019 Accepted) Intervention focus moderates the association between initial receptive language and language outcomes for toddlers with developmental delay. Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
  • Luo, R., Alper, R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Mogul, M., Chen, Y., Masek, L., Paterson S., Pace, A., Adamson, L., Bakeman, R., Golinkoff, R., & Owen, M. (2019, Accepted).  Community-based, caregiver-implemented early language intervention in high-risk families: Lessons learned. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action.
  • Adamson, L. B., Kaiser, A. P., Tamis-LeMonda, C. A., Owen, M. T., & Dimitrova, N. (2018).  The Developmental landscape of early parent-focused language intervention.  Early Childhood Research Quarterly.  Advanced online publication.
  • Khowaja, M. K., Robins, D. L., & Adamson, L. B. (2018).  Utilizing two-tiered screening for early detection of autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 22, 881-890
  • Ramsey, R. K., Nichols, L., Ludwig, N. N., Fein, D., Adamson, L. B., & Robins, D. L. (2018).  Brief report:  Sex differences in parental concerns for toddlers with autism risk. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 4063-4069.
  • Özçalışkan, S., Adamson, L. B., Dimitrova, N., & Baumann, S. (2018).  Do parents model gestures differently when children’s gestures differ? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48, 1492-1507.