An interpretation of the nature of the relationship between proximal and distal motor development in infants
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The principle of proximo-distal direction of motor development is investigated in this study. Treatment of motor dysfunction has often been based upon the assumption that development occurs first in proximal muscle groups and then in distal groups. A longitudinal study was done on ten infants at five, seven, and nine months of age. Proximal and distal skills were measured and the relationship between them was studied. Two scales were used to assess the infant's reaching abilities (proximal skills), and prehension abilities (distal skills). The scales were developed by Loria (1978) and represented a combination of fmdings from studies done by Halverson (1931, 1932), Gesell and Amatruda (1947) and Kopp (1974). In Loria's scales (1980) unequal weight was given to the criteria used. In the present study however, the scales were modified so that each item was weighted equally. Both scales were used in this research, Loria's Original Scales and the new Adapted Scales. High positive correlations were found between proximal and distal scales of infant motor development at 5, 7, and 9 months of age. An exception was observed at the 9 months of age when using Loria's Original Scales, where results showed significantly lower correlations. However, when using the modified version of the scales, the correlations found suggest that both skills develop simultaneously or co-occur in infants at these ages.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University by Beatriz Fernandez. Sargent College of Allied Health Professions. Dept. of Occupational Therapy.PLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at email@example.com. Thank you.