Psychological Development Across the Lifespan

Margaret Mahler

What is the practicing sub-phase?

This is the second observed phase and extends from about age ten months until sixteen to eighteen months. This is the period where children’s locomotor abilities, or their capacity to move about on their own, take a giant developmental leap. Around eight months, a baby begins to crawl. By about ten months, children are frequently pulling themselves up by grabbing onto furniture and, at least temporarily, they are able to stand on their own. By about twelve months, the child is starting to walk. This dramatic motor development hastens the physical aspect of the separation-individuation phase. More and more, babies can now get about on their own.


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