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Keywords:

  • motor development;
  • acquisition rate;
  • infants;
  • AIMS

Abstract

This study used the Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS) with the aim of characterizing motor acquisition rate in 70 healthy 0–6-month-old Brazilian infants, as well as comparing both emergence (initial age) and establishment (final age) of each skill between the study sample and the AIMS normative data. New motor skills were continuously acquired from 0 to 6 months of age by the Brazilian infants, but their acquisition rate was non-linear. When compared to the AIMS sample, Brazilian infants achieved lower percentiles, and their initial age to acquire skills requiring greater antigravity demand was higher. In contrast, Brazilian infants stopped exhibiting primitive patterns earlier, and their final age to acquire antigravity skills was lower. These differences in motor development are suggested to be a consequence of different parental practices and not necessarily indicate motor delay. Thus, the AIMS normative values should be adapted to cultural particularities so as to avoid that infants are misclassified as at risk for motor delay. Furthermore, an adequate assessment of motor development should consider not only the age at which a skill is emerged, but also the age at which such a skill is established in the infant's motor repertoire. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.