Our research interest is to understand the underlying mechanisms associated with motor development and physical activity behaviors in children with and without developmental disabilities. Using motion analysis techniques, motor development assessments, and measures of physical activity, our goal is to establish scientific basis for clinical intervention programs and thus to promote development and physical health of children.
Principal Investigator: Li-Chiou Chen
PhD student: Pei-Jung Wang
MS student: Shih-Han Chang (graduated), Yan-Ling Liu, Ying-Hsuan Chao, Hsiang-Yin Liu, Wen-Chun Su, Tzu-Lin Ho
- Postural control and interceptive skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sensorimotor deficits are common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This research is to investigate postural control and interceptive skills of 5-10 year-old children with and without ASD. We use 3-D motion analysis and force plates to quantify arm movement and postural control during a ball catching task. With manipulation of visual inputs, we are able to investigate the sensory-motor integration process of TD children and those with ASD. In addition, we use standardized tests to examine the motor performance, participation in daily activities, and behavioral functioning of children with ASD. Combining the result of laboratory tests and clinical assessments in motor, behavior, and participation, our results will provide a deeper look at the underlying mechanisms of motor and social problems in children with ASD.
- Physical activity during early childhood and its associations with motor competence and environmental affordance in full-term and preterm children
Physical activity (PA) plays an important role in child development and health. Preterm infants are at risk for motor disabilities. This research is to describe and compare the developmental trajectories of PA behavior in preterm and full-term children and to investigate the relationship among motor competence, home environmental affordance, and PA during 2 to 4 years of age. We use accelerometer to quantitatively measure children’s PA and use clinical assessment tools to examine children’s motor development and affordance from the home environment. By examining the influence of motor development and environmental factors to children’s PA, our results will help design intervention programs to promote children’s participation in PA and to prevent sedentary lifestyle.
- Postural control and motor development in preterm infants
Preterm infants are at risk for motor and postural deficits. This study is to investigate early development of postural control in preterm infants. We use 3-D motion analysis and force plates to quantify the body sway and coordination of preterm and full-term infants in sitting and standing positions and during walking. By manipulating the sensory inputs, including somatosensory and vision, we further examine the influence of perceptual information on infants’ postural control and the development of perception-action coordination. In addition, we use clinical assessment tools to examine infants’ motor development in different positions. Our results will shed light on the early development of human postural control and perception-action coordination and thus may help early identification and intervention for preterm infants with motor deficits.
- Bidirectional relations among maternal interactive behavior, child mastery motivation, competence and participation in children with global developmental delay
Quality of mother-child interaction has important influences on development and behaviors of children. This study is to longitudinally investigate relations among maternal interactive behavior and child competence, participation and mastery motivation in children with global developmental delay (GDD). Mother-child dyads of 24-48 month-old toddlers with GDD are assessed at study entry and at 6-month follow-up for maternal behavior, child competence, participation, and mastery motivation. Standardized developmental assessments, structured behavioral assessments, parenting-related questionnaires are used to measure children’s overall development, participation in daily activities, and mastery motivation, and quality of maternal behavior, maternal well-beings and parenting knowledge. The results of this research will help develop family-centered early intervention programs for children with GDD.