Effect of the home environment on motor and cognitive behavior of infants

Infant Behav Dev. 2012 Jun;35(3):329-34. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Jun 19.


Although information is sparse, research suggests that affordances in the home provide essential resources that promote motor and cognitive skills in young children. The present study assessed over time, the association between motor affordances in the home and infant motor and cognitive behavior. Thirty-two (32) infants were assessed for characteristics of their home using the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development--Infant Scale and motor and cognitive behavior with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development--III. Infant's home and motor behavior were assessed at age 9 months and 6 months later with the inclusion of cognitive ability. Results for motor ability indicated that there was an overall improvement in performance from the 1st to the 2nd assessment. We found significant positive correlations between the dimensions of the home (daily activities and play materials) and global motor performance (1st assessment) and fine-motor performance on the 2nd assessment. In regard to cognitive performance (2nd assessment), results indicated a positive association with fine-motor performance. Our results suggest that motor affordances can have a positive impact on future motor ability and speculatively, later cognitive behavior in infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Language
  • Male
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Statistics, Nonparametric