Motor and Physical Development: Locomotion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The development of locomotion begins prenatally with spontaneous fetal movements. After birth, infants learn to cope with gravity and the continual flux of physical growth and variations in the terrain. Balance and strength are the critical factors for the emergence of new forms of locomotion and for improvements in proficiency. Experience is the critical factor for promoting adaptive responding to changes in body dimensions and variations in the environment. However, experience does not generalize from one postural milestone to the next. Independent mobility both requires and facilitates developments across multiple psychological domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development, Three-Volume Set
ISBN (Electronic)9780123708779
ISBN (Print)9780123704603
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Balance
  • Crawling
  • Dynamic systems theory
  • Falling
  • Locomotion
  • Locomotor experience
  • Mobility
  • Motor milestones
  • Neuromuscular maturation
  • Perception–action theory
  • Posture
  • Running
  • Visual cliff
  • Walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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