Let Me Go: The Influences of Crawling Experience and Temperament on the Development of Anger Expression

Caroline K. Pemberton Roben, Anneliese J. Bass, Ginger A. Moore, Laura Murray-Kolb, Patricia Z. Tan, Rick O. Gilmore, Kristin A. Buss, Pamela M. Cole, Laureen O. Teti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Infants' emerging ability to move independently by crawling is associated with changes in multiple domains, including an increase in expressions of anger in situations that block infants' goals, but it is unknown whether increased anger is specifically because of experience with being able to move autonomously or simply related to age. To examine the influence of locomotion on developmental change in anger, infants' (N=20) anger expressions during an arm restraint procedure were observed longitudinally at a precrawling baseline assessment and 2 and 6weeks after the onset of crawling. Infant age at each crawling stage was unrelated to the frequency of anger expressed in response to arm restraint. At 6weeks postcrawling onset, infants whose mothers rated them as temperamentally higher in distress to limitations, compared with those rated lower, showed a greater increase in the frequency of anger expressed during the arm restraint relative to earlier assessments and took longer to reduce the frequency of anger expressed when no longer restrained. Findings suggest that experience with autonomous crawling has an effect on anger expression, independent of age, and that a temperamental tendency to become distressed by limitations may exacerbate the effect of crawling on anger expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-577
Number of pages20
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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