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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Determining the age of selected, presumably universal behavioral accomplishments—milestones—has played a uniquely important role in history of developmental research. This chapter presents a brief overview of how charting the mastery of motor skills contributed to early child development research, followed by an extended example of how cross-cultural work has helped us better understand the meaning and dynamics of particular milestones. As a cultural perspective has been applied to the cognitive and social behaviors of more recent interest, it has become clear that the list of behaviors under study is limited by its European-American roots. Nevertheless, one can see in both theory and practice a growing recognition of culturally regulated diversity in the universal milestones of infancy.

Keywords: infant development, cross-cultural research, developmental milestones, developmental research, Developmental Niche, motor development, cognitive development, social-emotional development

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