The purpose of this study was to examine the developmental sequence of body part identification in very young children, 11 to 25 months of age. In the first part of the study, 113 children, divided into five age groups (12-month-olds, 15-month-olds, 18-month-olds, 21-month-olds, and 24-month-olds), were asked to point to 20 body parts on a doll. The results indicated a positive correlation between number of parts correctly identified and increasing age. No sex differences or Sex × Age interactions were found.
In the second part of the study, the difference between pointing to body parts on the self and pointing to body parts on a doll was examined in two groups of 2-year-olds. The results indicated no significant difference between the ability to point to body parts on a doll and the ability to point to body parts on the self.
Factors that may contribute to the development of body part identification in 1- to 2-year-olds and the sequence in which body parts are learned are discussed. The results help provide diagnostic criteria for children with suspected delays in cognitive language, or body scheme development.