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The Effect of Play on Learning for Infants Living in Poverty
April 12, 2016
Department or Program
Approximately 22 percent of children in the United States live in poverty. Developmental differences in visual attention and motor development between children of low and high socioeconomic status are observed as early at six months of age and may lead to the well-known achievement gap when children enter grade school. In our study, we implemented an intervention to improve motor development in low- SES infants ages 6 months to 12 months. The intervention consisted of two weeks of daily play sessions between mothers and infants in which the mother demonstrated different exploratory techniques with a rattle, and the infant replicated the behaviors. At the end of the intervention, improvements in both visual attention and object exploration are expected. Our study will be used to inform future interventions to improve cognition in low-SES infants.