The purpose of this investigation was to test the ontogenetic principle that the development of proximal postural stability precedes, and is necessary for, the development of distal fine motor control. The Posture and Fine Motor Assessment of Infants (Case-Smith, 1987) was used to examine the relationship between proximal and distal motor function in 60 normal infants. Low positive partial correlations were found between components of posture and fine motor control. Although all partial correlations, except those between the head component of postural control and the fine motor scores, were significant, they were not strong enough to support the validity of the proximal–distal principle. They appear instead to reflect a functional rather than an ontogenetic relationship. These findings have implications for treatment and further research.

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