Thedevelopment of individuals is composed of a large number of factors that influence and condition the construction of the future, their abilities, their capabilities. It is in general aspects, a development that covers the motor and the psychological in parallel.

In the following article we will delve into whatpsychomotor development is, what are its main characteristics, the areas it covers in the process of human development, (during its first years) and the alterations that may occur.

What is psychomotor development?

Psychomotor developmentis a capacity for growth and transformation, where thecapacities and abilities of the individual are perfected. It is defined as a continuous process that is evoked in the conception of maturity, and which has a similar sequence but always with a variable rhythm.

Important: It depends on a very intimate relationship of theCentral Nervous System (CNS), the senses and an environment with key psycho-affective components.

Features of psychomotor development

Psychomotor development has certain characteristicsthat allow the recognition of its development, so knowledge of them will allow it to be identified and understood better. Below, we mention and describe them.

It constitutes the acquisition of different skills

As we mentioned previously, psychomotor development is theprogress of infantsto acquire certain skills.

It happens continuously, without the learning being programmed and allows their acquisition to be monitored in order to Detect skills and abilities . (1)

Important: Monitoring must be carried out by a pediatrician , determining a reference of normal psychomotor development through the years and at different ages.

It occurs from the embryonic stage

Prenatal psychomotor development is usually characterized by the movements that the fetus producesduring the gestation process. Initially they start out as reflexes, but over time they become coordinated.

Note: The communication you have with the newborn from the first months of pregnancy also has a positive influence.

Reflects the maturation of the central nervous system

It is a direct reference. Psychomotor development iscloselyrelated and linked to the capacity of the Central Nervous System (CNS).

It is a procedure that reflects the corresponding processes and responses of a progressive acquisition of skills.

It is carried out progressively by age

Psychomotor development has certain reference patterns, which start from the first months of birth until the end of childhood. This developmentwill be useful and important throughout life and although it is different in each case, it will always be characteristically progressive.

Note:With progressive, we mean that certain steps must be followed in a certain specific order in order to complete the learning of a skill. No one learns to speak without babbling.

Allows independence and adaptation to the environment

Psychomotor development promotes a healthy capacity for adaptation, which allows the acquisition of Social skills to function correctly in the environment and adapt to the processes that must be faced.

There are key influential factors for the adaptation of school processes where cognitive, affective and psychomotor elements converge,which allow verifying that early stimulation is considered efficient for connections and integrations. Even from the first months of life.(two)

Depends on the functioning of the senses

An element that greatly influences psychomotor development is the functioning of the senses , which, when developed correctly, involves skills such as language, smell, affective and intellectual capacities, among others.

It is influenced by the psycho-affective environment

The acquisition of skills that comprise this process, is influenced by the psycho- Affective Environment , considering that stimulating influences will allow a Healthy Development and the creation of effective affective bonds. (3)

Areas of psychomotor development

This development process not only covers motor and cognitive abilities, but also other elements that allow the correct development of the individualtag. They will be mentioned and described below for their identification and recognition.


This area includes motor development and perceptual skills, since it includes motor skills and recognition of spaces. They are further classified intofine and gross motor development,where the differences lie in the areas involved. They stand out:

  • Ability to maintain balance.
  • Posture
  • Mobility
  • coordinated movements
  • independent movements


Manipulative skill includes part of the coordinated and independent movements, since it is the one that ranges from eye fixation to the movement of organs and muscles in a coordinated manner.

Note: These skills are those that focus on object handling and cover basic patterns including throws and catches.


It is the process of obtaining skills and responses , which allow the individual to gain independence and capabilities, especially to allow themselves to interact with the world that surrounds them. Language is essential for proper development.


Social acquisitions in skills is a continuous processthat allows communication, interaction, recognition and effective and dynamic development of the individual. It gives aunique value to psychomotor development.

Alterations in psychomotor development

The alterations that occur in the psychomotor development, entail difficulties and direct consequencesin the development of the individual. These comprised alterations will be described below.

Weakness, unsteadiness and motor restriction

Faults of a biological nature in the individual produce complications in its development, which is why the appearance of factors such as weakness, instability and motor restriction in it is considered.

To highlight: Neurodevelopmental disorders are involved in complications and slowdowns in learning processes, which also limit the development of daily life skills.

Difficulties in body management

An element that implies a delay in psychomotor development, will decrease certain developmental achievements in specific periods of time in the individual. It not onlyaffects the acquisition of motor skills, but also complementary elements such as communication and interaction skills.

Sudden and involuntary movements

These types of movements: sudden and involuntary, are primitive reflexes that must disappeartag. They are the same ones that precede the voluntary movements, but in many cases there are vices or some disorder conditioned to their perfection.

Key Findings

  • Psychomotor development is the natural process of an individual to allow their abilities and capacities to develop from their first months of birth until the end of their childhood years.
  • In all individuals it has a similar sequence but a different and characteristic process.
  • Learning is not programmed but can be monitored through medical supervision, which will make it possible to recognize the efficiency of the process and if there is any alteration.
  • It is made up of and uses motor, linguistic, social, and cognitive elements.
  • It has a very important and indispensable relationship with the Central Nervous System (CNS).

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