Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Social-educational evolution of crawling

Filippo Gomez Paloma, Cristiana D'Anna, Filomena Agrillo



For an adult who observes, a crawling baby is a tender and fun image, even though it’s not possible to imagine what can be hidden behind this movement. There are lot of thoughts on it, for example the idea that crawling is easier than walking alone and so children prefer it as it is their first physical movement. In spite of this we considerer that crawling is a motor sequence which is neither simple or immediate, especially for a baby whose average crawling age is eight months. The interest on this issue comes out from the question “crawling or not crawling?”, which is a frequent question of parents with children who are about to walk. Many children don’t crawl and their parents wonder about what is the right path for a correct psycho-physical development. The aim of this work is to think about the value of crawling during the psycho-motor development of a person. A qualitative research has been carried out to show the changes and the evolution of this motor action from the parents’childhood period to that of their children in the same sample group. Thirty couples of parents, whose children attended the same nursery, have been analysed through a questionnaire made of 45 questions anonymously given out. The same information received about the parents and their children give us the possibility to compare the two generations. The research has allowed us to reflect on the typical motor action from all points of view: the amounts of crawling within the reference group; the changes regarding the average age when this movement starts developing; the influence by early childhood tools, for example the use of the playpen and the walker, frequently used by many parents today. The data obtained gives us some points of reflection, but it also puts in evidence the different ways of movement, the different development of human beings and the many developments that are possible in a child. The subjectivity that characterises the psycho-motor development puts in a difficult position the traditional approach and the stereotyped idea of fixed phases. It’s important to underline that apart from the neurological development of the child, there can also be psycho-motor, mechanical and environmental factors, for example their previous experiences, motivations, external stimulations and various other aspects that can change from person to person.




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