The study of motor development is really the study of behavioral development, because motor skills include every kind of observable behavior, from walking and reaching to playing soccer or using chopsticks. Thus, motor development has a broad scope. It refers to improvements and decrements in motor skill over the life span and the processes that underlie those changes. This entry outlines several core principles of motor development and illustrates those principles for three basic action systems—posture, locomotion, and manual actions.

Five Principles of Motor Development

Equifinality and Multifinality

Motor development is traditionally portrayed as a series of stages, but this simple characterization fails to capture the equifinality (multiple pathways to the same endpoint) and multifinality (multiple outcomes from the same starting point) inherent in the developmental process. Infants ...

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