The relation between handedness for reaching and unimanual handedness from 6 to 14 months

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

Abstract: Unimanual hand preference is a behavior in which one hand is used more often than the other when single-handedly manipulating objects. The progressive lateralization theory (Michel, 2002) of handedness proposes that handedness gradually concatenates during infancy as a cascade from initially a preference for contacting objects to acquiring them, to their unimanual manipulation, to the eventual emergence of a hand preference for role-differentiated bimanual manipulation (RDBM). Together, these behaviors represent the individual's handedness expressed across most manual skills. Thus, the theory posits that an early hand preference for object acquisition will predict a later preference for single-handed object manipulations. This proposal was examined by describing the development of hand-use preferences for unimanual manipulation of objects for 90 infants (57 males) tested monthly from 6 to 14 months. These 90 infants were obtained from a larger sample of 380 infants: 30 infants from a group of 45 with left hand-use preferences for acquiring objects were matched for sex and development of locomotion skills with 30 infants with a right hand-use preference and 30 with no hand preference for acquiring objects. Results showed that the frequency of unimanual manipulations is stable during the 6-14 month period. Multilevel modeling of unimanual manipulation trajectories for the three acquisition hand-preference groups revealed that hand-use preferences for unimanual manipulation become more prominent with age and the preference is predicted by the hand-use preference for object acquisition. Also, infants with a right-hand preference for object acquisition develop a hand-use preference for unimanual manipulation sooner than those with a left preference and infants without a preference for acquisition remain without a preference for manipulation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2015
Acquisition, Cascade Theory, Handedness, Infant Development, Lateralization, Unimanual
Left- and right-handedness
Motor ability in infants
Infants $x Development
Infant psychology

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