Individual differences in infant fixation duration relate to attention and behavioral control in childhood.


Individual differences in fixation duration are considered a reliable measure of attentional control in adults. However, the degree to which individual differences in fixation duration in infancy (0-12 months) relate to temperament and behavior in childhood is largely unknown. In the present study, data were examined from 120 infants (mean age = 7.69 months, SD = 1.90) who previously participated in an eye-tracking study. At follow-up, parents completed age-appropriate questionnaires about their child’s temperament and behavior (mean age of children = 41.59 months, SD = 9.83). Mean fixation duration in infancy was positively associated with effortful control (beta = 0.20, R2 = .02, p = .04) and negatively with surgency (beta = -0.37, R2 = .07, p = .003) and hyperactivity-inattention (beta = -0.35, R2 = .06, p = .005) in childhood. These findings suggest that individual differences in mean fixation duration in infancy are linked to attentional and behavioral control in childhood.