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Posture Development and Vocalization Production in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Leezenbaum, Nina (2016) Posture Development and Vocalization Production in Infants at Heightened Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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During the first 14 months of life, typically-developing (TD) infants demonstrate rapid advances in posture and vocal development. There is a striking synchronization in the emergence of important milestones in these two domains (e.g., Oller, 1980; Piper & Darrah, 1994). For example, between the ages of 6 and 8 months, TD infants begin to sit independently without relying on external support for balance. Around this same time, they begin to produce syllabic vocalizations, which are defined as consonant-vowel (CV) sounds that are characteristic of babbling (e.g., [ba]; Oller, 2000). Between approximately 10 and 12 months, most TD infants can stand unsupported and say their first words, and by the time they reach 14 months they are walking long distances and producing nearly 20 words (Fenson et al., 1994).

Although posture and vocal development were once considered unrelated, there is mounting evidence demonstrating a developmental pathway linking behaviors in these domains (see Iverson, 2010, for a review). Specifically, the emergence of new postures as well as increased postural control (i.e., the ability to maintain a stable posture over time) dramatically change infants’ experiences with objects, people, and their own bodies in ways that are relevant not only for motor development (e.g., reaching and manual exploration; Rochat & Goubet, 1995), but for development in other domains (e.g., vocalizations; Yingling, 1981). One implication of this framework is that even seemingly small disruptions in posture development can have cascading effects that lead to delays outside of the motor domain (see Iverson, 2010, for additional discussion).


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Leezenbaum, Ninanbl3@pitt.eduNBL3
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairIverson, Janajiverson@pitt.eduJIVERSON
Committee MemberCampbell, Susansbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Committee MemberBrownell, Celiabrownell@pitt.eduBROWNELL
Committee MemberPogue-Geile, Michaelmfpg@pitt.eduMFPG
Committee MemberWilliams,
Date: 30 September 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 August 2015
Approval Date: 30 September 2016
Submission Date: 31 July 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 131
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, posture development, and vocalization development
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 19:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:35

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