Credentials Display

Nicki L. Aubuchon-Endsley, PhD, LP; Bryan M. Gee, Ph.D., OTD, OTR/L, BCP, CLA; Heather L. Ramsdell, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Hillary E. Swann-Thomsen, Ph.D.; Nancy Devine, PT, DPT, Ph.D.; Nicholas Burgett, B.S.; Leah R. Kollmeyer, B.S.; Michele R. Brumley, Ph.D.


Background: Occupational therapists focus on caregiver-infant reciprocity, which is influenced by a host of biopsychosocial factors and is predictive of developmental outcomes across domains. It is important for early intervention professions to understand how different forms of reciprocity may predict infant development in salient domains (i.e., language, mobility, and co-occupation). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate associations among related measures of development in and across age, while also exploring how reciprocity influences the acquisition of developmental milestones.

Method: We examined these important areas of development in relation to novel caregiver-infant co-occupational constructs in addition to well-established domains of reciprocity (i.e., language, touch, and emotional sensitivity). In a cohort of 16 caregiver-infant dyads, we investigated infant language, motor, and affective development at 8, 12, and 16 months of age in relation to caregiver-infant reciprocity in the same domains.

Results: Findings identify relations among domains, as well as novel, bidirectional associations among these domains, and caregiver-infant reciprocity. In particular, infant utterances, standing, and positive affect were related to caregiver sensitivity and responsivity to infant affect, touch, and/or physicality.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that aspects of caregiver-infant reciprocity may predict development in several important domains.


The authors report no potential conflicts of interest.