Ashley Karsten

Education

I received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Central Michigan University in 2008. I am currently a Graduate student at Michigan State University in the department of Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialization in Child Development.

Research Focus

I am interested in children’s language and communication development from birth to age 5. Specifically, in very early development, I am fascinated by infant signing/ symbolic gesture, and in preschool aged children I am interested in the way children develop writing and narrative abilities.

My research in the Insights into Infants’ Internal Worlds (IIIW) Lab is focused on the trajectories of symbolic gesture use in infants and toddlers and how toddlers use gestures for self-regulation. I am currently working on the Toddlers’ Signs in Service of Self Regulation (T3S) project.  I have developed a coding system to code existing transcripts of toddlers’ use of gestures, signs, and words in distressing situations, and trained another coder to become reliable on this coding system. I have presented our work on the trajectories of symbolic gesture at local and international conferences.

I am also involved in the Early Language and literacy Investigations (EllI) research lab. I have managed data collection at the MSU Child Development Lab school where we assess over 150 children, annually, on multiple measures including vocabulary, phonological awareness, letter knowledge, writing, math, and self regulation.

Conference Presentations

Zientek, A., Decker, K.B., Bentley, S., Gutowski, E. & Vallotton, C.D. (April 1, 2011). Trajectories of Symbolic Gesture Acquisition and Use in Infants and Toddlers. Bienniel Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Zientek, A., Decker, K.B., Bentley, S., Gutowski, E. & Vallotton, C.D. (April 1, 2011). Trajectories of Symbolic Gesture Acquisition and Use in Infants and Toddlers. Bienniel Meeting of  Michigan Infant Mental Health. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Contact info

karsten8@msu.edu