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Scaffolding or interference: how do parent behaviors shape infants’ object exploration skills

Anish, Eli J. (2024) Scaffolding or interference: how do parent behaviors shape infants’ object exploration skills. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Reaching skills allow infants to explore their environment actively from birth. These skills progress from simple touches to more complex actions like grasping and manipulating objects. Reaching skills not only enable exploration, but they also contribute to the development of other motor skills. Therefore, nurturing reaching skills during infancy is critical. Parental scaffolding, which involves providing or removing support during tasks, is examined in the context of infant object exploration. While some argue that scaffolding may hinder development by interrupting infants' exploration, others suggest it may enhance learning opportunities. The current study aims to investigate the impact of parental resetting on infants' reaching skill development during a reaching task. Data from 84 parent-infant dyads were analyzed, and parental resetting behavior was categorized into low or high resetting groups. We found that infants in the high parental resetting group showed a shorter latency to first contact objects, increased maturity of manual object exploration, and higher scores on the Early Motor Questionnaire (EMQ). The current study’s results shed light on whether parental resetting scaffold or disrupt the development of independent reaching skills during infancy.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Anish, Eli J.eja32@pitt.edueja320009-0003-9311-4428
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLibertus,
Committee MemberGanger,
Committee MemberHoch,
Committee MemberSmith,
Date: 14 March 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 November 2023
Approval Date: 14 March 2024
Submission Date: 4 December 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 43
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: parent-infant interactions, manual exploration, scaffolding, resetting
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2024 13:57
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2024 13:57


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