Is the effect of gross motor development on vocabulary size mediated by language-promoting interactions?

  • Sivan Bar-Or (University of Haifa)
  • Naomi Havron (University of Haifa)


Previous research suggests there is a positive correlation between infants’ motor and language development. Several reasons for this effect have been suggested, but little empirical research directly addressed them. Here we test the hypothesis that motor development is related to an increase in language-promoting interactions with parents (such as naming objects that the infant is interested in), and that these activities are related to language development. 93 parents from Israel filled in questionnaires about their 8- to-18-month-old infants’ language and motor development, as well as about their engagement in language-promoting interactions. We found no evidence that motor development was related to language development, and partial evidence that motor development was related to language-promoting interactions, and language-promoting interactions to vocabulary size. Possible reasons are discussed.

Keywords: motor development, language development, interactions

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Published on
02 Feb 2024
Peer Reviewed