IIIW Lab Research Projects

Cross-Cultural Development of the Expression of Emotion: A longitudinal study of the development of expression, labeling, and comprehension of emotion from late infancy through toddlerhood in Santiago, Chile and the Greater Lansing Area of Michigan, USA.

Infant Signs as Intervention: A series of naturalistic and experimental studies which examine the effects of using symbolic gestures – also known as “Infant Signs” – as an intervention to enhance communication and relationships between preverbal children and their caregivers.

Secondary Analysis of the Early Head Start Research & Evaluation (EHSRE) Project: Using the national Early Head Start data, as well as the rich language data from the New England site, we answer a number of questions about the development and integration of of language and social skills, including the effects of these domains on each other, the effects of parent characteristics and family risks, and the effects of the Early Head Start intervention.

The Language of Self-Regulation in Toddlerhood (LCS): Testing the relationships between young children’s language skills, coping strategies, and successful self-regulation, examining the role of language in young children’s coping behaviors throughout toddlerhood. (Working with collaborator, Kathy Stansbury).

Parents Choices for their Children’s Communication (P3C): Survey of parents’ communication choices for their children who are hearing, children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and children who have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder or a Developmental Disability. We want to learn what influences parents’ choices of speaking, signing, and augmentative communication devices as means of communication. 

Toddlers’ Use of Signs in Service of Self-Regulation (T3S): Qualitative and quantitative observational study of toddlers in a child care setting using infant signs during distressing episodes.

Parents’ Scaffolding Puzzle Solving (PSPS): Experimental/observational study of parents’ use of gestures (and language) to scaffold children’s puzzle solving, whether child’s skills influence parents’ use of gestures, and whether parents’ gestures help children solve puzzles.  (Working with collaborators Fusaro & Hayden). 

Sign Stories Case Studies: Case studies of individual children’s gestural and language development in an enriched gestural environment. (Working with Collaborator Maria Fusaro)

Cross-Cultural Experiences of Infant Sign (CCEIS): Survey of parents in multiple countries (U.S., U.K., France, China, Chile, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Japan) who use infant signs, intended to learn about cultural differences in parenting attitudes and motivations, and children’s use of signs. (Working with collaborators from the International Infant Sign Researchers group)

Parent-Child Interaction with Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI): Quantitative observational study of the pragmatic, affective, and linguistic aspects of parent-child communication with children who have specific language impairments. (Working with collaborators Skibbe & Justice)

Literacy before Language (LBL): Observational study of infants (between 10 and 18 months) who use signs reading with their parents.

Professional Development of Early Childcare Workforce in Project LAUNCH: Applied study of Evidence-based training efforts to enhance quality caregiving for young children. (Working with collaborators Fitzgerald, McNall, & Bates).

Development of Multi-Modal Communication in the Infant Classroom: Longitudinal observational study of infants’ gesture and language development in an early childhood classroom. (Working with collaborators Stansbury & Brophy-Herb)