The Influence of Maternal Cognitions upon Motor Development in Infants Born Preterm: A Scoping Review

Sandra Jensen-Willett, Kerry Miller, Barbara Jackson, Regina Harbourne

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This scoping review summarizes the extent, nature, and type of evidence linking broadly defined maternal cognitions to motor outcomes in infants born preterm. Maternal cognitions are beliefs, perceptions, or psychosocial attributes that inform parenting practices. Methods: Arksey and O'Malley's 5-step method was applied. Thirteen articles between 1980 and November 2019 met inclusion criteria. Results: Two key themes emerged with infants born preterm: (1) quality of the social and physical caregiving environment influence developmental outcomes with implications for motor development; and (2) complex interactions between environmental factors, prematurity-related biomedical risks, and maternal cognitions contribute to eventual motor outcomes. Conclusion: Further research is needed to understand how maternal cognitions either scaffold or constrain early motor opportunities for infants born preterm and at risk for motor delays. What This Adds to the Evidence: This review summarizes studies that explore potential links between maternal cognitions and motor development in infants born preterm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • infant motor development
  • maternal influence
  • prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Maternal Cognitions upon Motor Development in Infants Born Preterm: A Scoping Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this