Thursday, February 17, 2011

Walking and Social Interactions

Infant Behavior and Development published interesting research on walking and social interactions. Research has already indicated that crawling is a motor as well as a cognitive milestone. In this study there were three experiments and the results were the following:
  1. social and exploratory behaviors were the same in crawling infants whether crawling or in a baby walker
  2. independently walking infants spent significantly more time interacting with toys and mothers, made more vocalizations and directed gestures than age matched, crawling peers in a baby walker
  3. when infants progress from crawling to walking increased interaction with mothers and more sophisticated social interactions were observed (even when controlled for age)
The researchers concluded that there is a developmental progression that links social interactions with developmental milestones in locomotor skills. You can read the full study here.

For non ambulatory young children, this may be appropriate to reference when justifying a need for powered mobility or mobile standing frames.

Reference: Melissa W. Clearfield Learning to walk changes infants’ social interactions. Infant Behavior and Development Volume 34, Issue 1, February 2011, Pages 15-25

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