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Current Project Spotlight: Eli Anish

Eli's honor thesis through the Online BabyLab investigates the effects of parental "resetting," a natural form of parental scaffolding. Parental resetting was defined as when parents picked up and/or repositioned the target spoon during the BabyLab's reaching task. In the reaching task, parents were asked to let their infant reach for and interact with a spoon placed on the table in front of them. Infants completed 8 trials of the reaching task around 3.5 months, and parents completed the Early Motor Questionnaire (EMQ) at the 10-month follow-up. The EMQ is a measure of the fine-motor, gross-motor, and perception-action skills of infants 2-24 months old. After noticing some parents had greater tendencies to reset the spoon, Eli grouped parent-infant groups into "high" and "low" resetting groups. What was found was that infants in the "high resetting" group were quicker to make their first contact with the spoon, touched the spoon more as the visits progressed, and scored higher on fine-motor and perception-action scores at 10 months. Eli concluded that more parental resets seem to encourage the infant to reach more and have positive long-term effects on infant motor development. This supports previous research that parental interaction in infant motor development not only encourages infants but sets them up for success in development and learning.

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