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Hand preference trajectories as predictors of language outcomes above and beyond SES: Infant patterns explain more variance than toddler patterns at 5 years of age
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  • Kaityn Contino,
  • Julie Campbell,
  • Emily Marcinowski,
  • George Michel,
  • Michelle Ramos,
  • Stefany Coxe,
  • Timothy Hayes,
  • Eliza Nelson
Kaityn Contino
Florida International University - Modesto A Maidique Campus
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Julie Campbell
Illinois State University
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Emily Marcinowski
Louisiana State University
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George Michel
University Of North Carolina Greensboro
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Michelle Ramos
Penn State University
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Stefany Coxe
Florida International University
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Timothy Hayes
Florida International University
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Eliza Nelson
Florida International University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Prior studies found hand preference trajectories predict preschool language outcomes. However, this approach has been limited to examining bimanual manipulation in toddlers. It is not known whether hand preference during infancy for acquiring objects (i.e., reach-to-grasp) similarly predicts childhood language ability. The current study explored this motor-language developmental cascade in 90 children. Hand preference for acquiring objects was assessed monthly from 6 to 14 months and language skill was assessed at 5 years. Latent class growth analysis identified three infant hand preference classes: left, early right, and late right. Infant hand preference classes predicted 5-year language skills. Children in the left and early right classes, who were categorized as having a consistent hand preference, had higher expressive and receptive language scores relative to children in the inconsistent late right class. Consistent classes did not differ from each other on language outcomes. Infant hand preference patterns explained more variance for expressive and receptive language relative to previously reported toddler hand preference patterns, above and beyond socioeconomic status (SES). Results suggest that hand preference, measured at different time points across development using a trajectory approach, is reliably linked to later language.
15 Sep 20231st Revision Received
15 Sep 2023Assigned to Editor
15 Sep 2023Submission Checks Completed
19 Sep 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
19 Sep 2023Editorial Decision: Accept