Maturational Perspective of Motor Development

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Mental intelligence, interests, abilities, personality and behaviour tendencies are affected by nature and nurture. Nature vs. nurture is an ongoing debate between genetic inheritances and environmental factors that shape development. Nature, also known as heredity, is the genetic code a person is born with. In motor development, nature refers to the genetic inheritance of characteristics and tendencies that influence development. The maturational perspective of motor development focuses on nature influences. The maturational perspective explains functions of maturational processes, particularly through the central nervous system, which control or dictate motor development (Payne & Isaacs, 2012). Motor development is an internal process driven by a biological or genetic time clock that can be affected by the environment but does not determine one’s biologically determined course (Haywood & Getchell, 2009). Motor development occurs as the brain develops, reflexes appear and intergrade allowing voluntary movement such as sitting, crawling, and reaching or grasping develop, and finally, advanced motor skills such as walking, jumping, throwing and catching occur. (Payne & Isaacs, 2012) This maturation theory has been proposed by many researchers including Arnold Gesell and Myrtle McGraw, who both studied the motor development on identical twins (Haywood & Getchell, 2009). Another researcher, Mary Shirley, studied the sequence of motor milestones relating to the maturational perspective (Haywood, Roberton, & Getchell, 2012). The maturational perspective also relates motor delays directly to damage in the central nervous system (Payne & Isaacs, 2012). These researchers’ studies support nature’s influences on motor development...

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...e maturational perspective explains developmental change through the central nervous system that control or dictate motor development and cannot be controlled by the environment, only affected. Gesell and McGraw’s co-twin study supports the maturational perspective in the sense that environmental factors do not determine ones motor development, only affects it momentarily. Shirley’s study of 28 babies’ motor development suggests our motor development follows a sequential pattern that comes naturally as our central nervous system develops, supporting the maturational perspective as well. An example of motor delay dictating changes in a person’s motor development is apraxia which is caused by damage to the central nervous system, an internal process. The maturational perspective supports the genetic inheritance, nature, as the main influence in motor development.
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