Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

What factors influence motor development? Exploring the role of socioeconomic, biological, and parenting factors

Smith, Darcy K. (2022) What factors influence motor development? Exploring the role of socioeconomic, biological, and parenting factors. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Download (627kB) | Preview


The attainment and mastery of new motor skills during infancy has been found to impact the emergence of seemingly unrelated skills such as language, social, and cognitive abilities. However, little research has focused on sources of individual differences in early motor development. The current study explores three factors that may influence motor development during infancy: socioeconomic factors (SES), biological factors (gestational age), and parenting
factors (parenting experiences). A sample of 99 parents and their infants (50.53% female) ranging from 1.13 to 25.53 months of age participated in the study. Parents completed the Early Motor Questionnaire (EMQ) to assess infants’ gross motor, fine motor, and perception-action development. Parents also provided information about their child’s gestational age, their self-rated parenting experiences, and household income and parent education (combined for estimated SES). Results reveal significant influences on early motor development, but effects differ depending on the area of motor skill assessed. Specifically, SES was found to predict fine motor and perception-action development, gestational age was found to predict gross motor and fine motor skills, but parenting experiences were not found to predict any area of motor development. Moreover, effects of gestational age did not vary between levels of SES. These results indicate that a child’s home environment and their gestational age may shape different aspects of early motor development. Future research needs to consider socioeconomic or biological factors when examining the role of early motor skills in development across domains.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Smith, Darcy
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberStrauss,
Committee MemberIverson, Jana
Committee MemberVotruba-Drzal,
Committee ChairLibertus,
Date: 21 March 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 13 September 2021
Approval Date: 21 March 2022
Submission Date: 10 January 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 56
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: infancy, motor development, gross motor, fine motor, perception-action, gestational age, parenting experiences, socioeconomic status, Early Motor Questionnaire
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 17:23
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2022 17:23


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item