Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Psychological Sciences

Document Type



Infant locomotion is a major milestone that occurs during the first year of an infant’s life, and the onset of crawling is associated with various developmental changes. Previous work has focused on changes in infant temperament, specifically anger, during the onset of crawling. Other work has focused on changes in infant cardiac physiology in association with temperament development. Little research has examined both temperament and cardiac physiology (e.g., respiratory sinus arrythmia, RSA) as predictors of infant locomotion. Examining both factors in the same study could further explain variability in infant motor development. The current longitudinal study examined infant temperament (anger, fear, surgency) and cardiac physiology (Baseline RSA, RSA Suppression) at 4 and 6 months as predictors of infant locomotion (pre-crawling, crawling) at 8 months. Findings suggest that infant temperament and cardiac physiology are associated with the age at which an infant began to pre-crawl or crawl. Mother-infant baseline RSA models revealed that anger and surgency are associated with the age of infant crawling. Mother-infant RSA suppression models revealed that infants with high RSA suppression and fear stood while holding on at an earlier age. For father-infant models, high anger with RSA suppression was associated with crawling at an earlier age.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Diane Lickenbrock, Ph.D.


Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Other Social and Behavioral Sciences | Psychology