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Sit to Talk: Relation between Motor Skills and Language Development in Infancy

Libertus, Klaus and Violi, Dominic A. (2016) Sit to Talk: Relation between Motor Skills and Language Development in Infancy. Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (475). ISSN 1664-1078

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Relations between walking skills and language development have been reported in 10-
to 14-month-old infants. However, whether earlier emerging motor milestones also affect
language skills remains unknown. The current research fills this gap by examining the
relation between reaching and sitting skills and later language development, respectively.
Reaching and sitting were assessed eight times, starting when infants (N D 29) were
around 3 months of age. All assessments were completed and recorded remotely
via videoconference using Skype or FaceTime. Subsequently, infants’ language and
motor skills were assessed via parent questionnaires (Communicative Development
Inventories and Early Motor Questionnaire) at 10 and 14 months of age. Results revealed
a significant correlation between the emergence of sitting skills and receptive vocabulary
size at 10 and 14 months of age. Regression analyses further confirmed this pattern
and revealed that the emergence of sitting is a significant predictor of subsequent
language development above and beyond influences of concurrent motor skills. These
findings suggest that the onset of independent sitting may initiate a developmental
cascade that results in increased language learning opportunities. Further, this study
also demonstrates how infants’ early motor skills can be assessed remotely using


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Libertus, Klausklaus.libertus@pitt.edukll600000-0002-5178-2415
Violi, Dominic A.
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, or Units > Learning Research & Development Center
Date: 31 March 2016
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Volume: 7
Number: 475
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00475
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1664-1078
Official URL:
Related URLs:
Article Type: Research Article
PubMed Central ID: PMC4815289
PubMed ID: 27065934
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 20:04
Last Modified: 12 May 2017 20:04


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