Do hand preferences predict stacking skill during infancy?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
George F. Michel, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: The cascade theory of handedness suggests that hand preferences develop from a history of cascading and sequentially developing manual asymmetries for a variety of actions. Infants who consistently use their preferred hand for a variety of actions likely would gain proficiency using that preferred hand and, consequently, perform more proficiently on other challenging manual tasks. One such task is object stacking, which has been linked with a number of cognitive abilities. If infant hand preference facilitates the development of stacking skill, then this could provide a link by which early hand preference might affect the development of cognition. From a sample of 380 infants assessed for an acquisition hand preference across 6–14 months, 131 infants were assessed for stacking skill from 10 to 14 months at monthly visits. Four unique handedness sub-groups were identified from the 380-infant sample: left, trending right, stable right, or no hand preference. Each of the four hand preference groups exhibited different trajectories in the development of their stacking skills. Left- and stable right-handers stacked more items than infants with no preference by 14 months, whereas infants with a trending right preference did not. The proportion of preferred hand use (right and left) from 6 to 9 months also predicted an earlier initial onset of stacking skill, whereas the proportion of only right hand use did not. Thus, the development of a hand preference predicts an earlier emergence of stacking skill and may have implications for other domains of infant cognitive development.

Additional Information

Developmental psychobiology, 58(8), 958-967.
Language: English
Date: 2016
handedness, motor, play

Email this document to