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  • Reciprocal socialization "is a socialization process that is bidirectional; children socialize parents just as parents socialize children". For example, the interaction of mothers and their infants is sometimes symbolized as a dance or dialogue in which following actions of the partners are closely coordinated. This coordinated dance or dialogue can assume the form of mutual synchrony, or it can be reciprocal in a more precise sense. The actions of the partners can be matched, as when one partner imitates the other or when there is mutual smiling. When reciprocal socialization has been investigated in infancy, mutual gaze or eye contact has been found to play an important role in early social interaction. "In one investigation, the mother and infant engaged in a variety of behaviors while they looked at each other; by contrast, when they looked away from each other, the rate of such behaviors dropped considerably". "In short, the behaviors of mothers and infants involve substantial interconnection and synchronization. And in some investigations, synchrony in parent-child relationships was positively related to children’s social competence.