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Infant Behavior & Development 30 (2007) 3649 How and when infants learn to climb stairs
 

Summary: Infant Behavior & Development 30 (2007) 3649
How and when infants learn to climb stairs
Sarah E. Bergera,, Carolin Theuringb, Karen E. Adolphc
a College of Staten Island, The City University of New York, United States
b Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Munich, Germany
c Department of Psychology, New York University, United States
Received 26 September 2006; accepted 2 November 2006
Abstract
Seven hundred and thirty-two parents reported when and how their infants learned to climb stairs. Children typically mastered
stair ascent (mean age = 10.97 months) several months after crawling onset and several weeks prior to descent (mean age = 12.53
months). Most infants (94%) crawled upstairs the first time they ascended independently. Most infants (76%) turned around and
backed at initial descent. Other descent strategies included scooting down sitting, walking, and sliding down face first. Children
with stairs in their home were more likely to learn to ascend stairs at a younger age, devise backing as a descent strategy, and be
explicitly taught to descend by their parents than children without stairs in their home. However, all infants learned to descend stairs
at the same age, regardless of the presence of stairs in their home. Parents' teaching strategies and infants' access to stairs worked
together to constrain development and to influence the acquisition of stair climbing milestones.
2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Stair climbing; Infancy; Motor development; Environmental influence; Backing
Staircases are one of the oldest building elements in architectural history. Most cultures, both ancient and modern
have some version of stairs or ladders to reach higher elevations. Ancient cultures, for example, cut steps into hillsides

  

Source: Adolph, Karen - Center for Neural Science & Department of Psychology, New York University

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine