Sabrina Thurman publishes article in research topic on Modeling Play in Early Infant Development

The first-authored peer-reviewed empirical article by the assistant professor of psychology describes how infants’ and mothers’ interactive behaviors during free play change as infants progress from sitting to walking.

Sabrina Thurman, assistant professor in the Psychology Department, in Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, recently published a first-authored peer-reviewed empirical article, “Changes in Posture and Interactive Behaviors as Infants Progress From Sitting to Walking: A Longitudinal Study” in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

This study, conducted by Thurman and co-author Daniela Corbetta of the University of Tennessee assessed how infants and mothers used different postures and interacted with their surroundings during free play as the infants acquired locomotor skills. Whereas mothers’ behaviors were relatively consistent over time, infants performed increasingly varied behaviors on their environments as they acquired locomotor skills. These new skills affected not only how they transitioned between targets of interaction, but also how infants manually interacted with their surroundings. 

Thurman is the principal investigator of the Infant Development Laboratory, where she and her student researcher mentees study infant motor development. 

Frontiers in Psychology is the world’s most-cited multidisciplinary psychology journal. The article by Thurman and Corbetta was published in a special issue on the research topic “Modeling Play in Early Infant Development.”