Proximodistal development describes the general trend for the development of motor abilities to occur from the center outwards. First, the middle develops and then the movement spreads outward. Infants learn to move their torsos first, then their arms and legs. Finger manipulation and other finely tuned movements will develop once motor skills for their limbs are developed. Motor development proceeds from the center of an organism to the periphery via proximodistal development.
Early motor skills are learned by parts of the body that are closest to the trunk before parts farther away in proximodistal development. In other words, gross motor skills like waving an arm develop before fine motor skills like writing legibly.
Principle of Proximodistal Development
According to the proximodistal principle, development occurs from the center of the body outward. According to this principle, the trunk of the body grows before the extremities of the arms and legs.
The proximodistal principle also governs the development of how different parts of the body are used. The ability to use the hands comes before the ability to use the arms effectively.
Proximodistal Development Example
Children learning to control their shoulders before they have a good level of control over their arms or individual fingers is a classic example of proximodistal development.
Infants as young as three months can grasp objects handed to them and make fists, but they aren’t able to point at objects or even reach for them on their own.
Typically, reaching is developed by six months, and pointing and picking up small objects like raisins by a year old.
You may Also like: