DOI link for Motor Skill
Motor Skill book
Frequently, science writers and journalists for parenting magazines and television specials ask us for expert advice about infant motor development. At what age should children master a particular motor skill? What can parents do to promote skill acquisition? What patterns of development should give parents cause to worry? One aim of this chapter is to show how cross-cultural research provides new insights into such questions about normative development. Cross-cultural research illustrates the range in the human condition and the plasticity of developmental processes in ways that laboratory studies with human children cannot. A second aim is to address assumptions inherent in these types of questions-whether there is such a thing as a sequence of motor skills that children attain at particular ages and whether childrearing practices and other contextual factors can alter the course of motor development. More generally, this chapter describes what cross-cultural research tells us about motor development. With a few notable exceptions (Bril, 1986b; Dennis, 1960; Hopkins, 1976), cross-cultural and laboratory research programs on motor development have been undertaken by diff erent investigators, fueled by different questions, and informed by diff erent research traditions. us, these two distinct literatures have arisen with little overlap or connection.