Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Jessica Bradshaw


Infants interact with their environment from the moment they are born. These interactions can assist in shaping a child’s development, including the skills they gain. Object manipulation has been specifically associated with numerous important outcomes in childhood, such as cognitive skills, motor skills, and language skills. This study aims to characterize object manipulation behaviors at 9 months of age between infants who are at an elevated genetic likelihood for ASD and infants who have no family history of ASD. This study also investigates associations between object manipulation behaviors and a biological measure of attention in both participant groups. While differences in specific manipulation behaviors were not observed, infants at a genetic likelihood for ASD interacted with the object a higher proportion of the overall time the object was available to them. No relationships were observed between attention and later specific manipulation behaviors. Implications of findings are discussed.


© 2024, Alexis Federico

Available for download on Wednesday, December 31, 2025

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