Linda Fetters, PhD, PT, FAPTA

linda fetters portrait

Faculty Profile

Professor and Sykes Family Chair in Pediatric Physical Therapy, Health and Development


(323) 442-1022


Development of Infant Motor Performance

Mailing Address

1540 Alcazar St., CHP 155, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9006

Professional Interests

Linda Fetters, now retired, was Professor and Sykes Family Chair in Pediatric Physical Therapy, Health and Development, Division of Biokinesiology & Physical Therapy and Department of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. She directed the Development of Infant Motor Performance Laboratory where her research focused on improving the quality of life for infants and children.

Dr. Fetters also directed the Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency offered in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She has taught development, motor control, pediatric physical therapy and evidence-based physical therapy and served on the Scientific Review Committee of the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. She is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the APTA.

Dr. Fetters has taught and given scientific presentations throughout the United States, Sweden, the Netherlands, Tanzania, Taiwan, Japan and Brazil. She is a co-author of “Evidence Based Physical Therapy,” published 2019, FA Davis and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Physical Therapy.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Psychology, Brandeis University, 1986
  • Master of Science, Physical Therapy, Boston University, 1976
  • Bachelor of Science, Physical Therapy, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1971

Selected Publications

  • Sargent B, Kubo M, Fetters L. “Infant discovery learning and lower extremity coordination: influence of prematurity.” Phys Occup Ther Pediatr. 2018; 38(2):210-225.
  • Sargent, B., Reimann, H., Kubo, M. and Fetters, L. (2017) “Infant intralimb coordination and torque production: influence of prematurity.” Infant Behavior and Development 49;129-140.
  • Sargent, B., Kubo, M. and Fetters, L. (2017) “Infant Discovery Learning and Lower Extremity Coordination: Influence of Prematurity.” Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics,0;1-16DOI: 10.1080/01942638.2017.1357065.
  • Novak I, Morgan C, Adde L, Badawi N, Blackman J, Boyd R, Cioni G, Damiano D, Darrah J, deVries L, Einspieler C, Ferrerio D, Fetters L, Forssberg H, Gordon A, Guzzetta A, Maitre N, McIntyre S, Pennington L, Romeo D, Shepherd R, Valentine J, Walker K, White R (2017). “Early, Accurate Diagnosis and Early Intervention in Cerebral Palsy: Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment.” Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, Jul 17. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1689. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Duff, S., Sargent, B., Kutch, J., Berggren, J. and Fetters, L. (2017) “Using Contingent Reinforcement to Augment Muscle Activation After Perinatal Brachial Plexus Injury: A Pilot Study.” Physical and Occupational Physical Therapy
  • Hardee, J. and Fetters, L. (2016) “The Effect of Exercise Intervention on Daily Life Activities and Social Participation in Individuals with Down Syndrome: A Systematic Review.” Research in Developmental Disabilities.
  • Mendonça, B., Sargent, B. Fetters, L. (2016) The Cross-Cultural Validity of Standardized Motor Development Screening and Assessment Tools: A Systematic Review. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 58(12):1213-12.22 \ doi: 10.1111/dmcn.13263.
  • Tilson, J., Marshall, K., Tam, J.J., Fetters, L. (2016) “A bibliometric analysis of statistical terms used in American Physical Therapy Association Journals (2011-2012): evidence for educating physical therapists.” BMC Medical Education, 16:118 DOI 10.1186/s12909-016-0641-1.
  • Morgan, C, Darrah, J, Gordon, AM, Harbourne, R, Spittle, A, Johnson, R, Fetters, L. (2016) “Effectiveness of motor interventions in infants with cerebral palsy: Systematic Review.” Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 58(9):900-9. doi:10.1111/dmcn.13105.
  • Sargent, B., Reimann, H., Kubo, M., Fetters, L. (2015) “Quantifying Learning in Young Infants: Tracking Leg Actions During a Discovery-learning Task.” J. Vis. Exp. (100), e52841, doi:10.3791/52841.
  • Sargent B, Scholz J, Reimann H, Kubo M, Fetters L. (2015) “Development of infant leg coordination: Exploiting passive torques.” Infant Behavior and Development, 40(0):108-121.
  • Huang, H., Ellis, T.D., Wagenaar, R.C., Fetters, L. (2014) “The Impact of Body-Scaled Information on Reach Actions in Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy and Typically Developing Children,” Pediatric Physical Therapy, 26:28-37. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0000000000000008
  • Kaplan, S., Coulter, C. & Fetters, L. (2013) “Physical Therapy Management? of Congenital Muscular Torticollis:?An Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline,” Pediatric Physical Therapy, 25:348-394. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e3182a778d2
  • Kaplan, S., Coulter, C. & Fetters, L. (2013) “Developing Evidence-Based Physical Therapy Clinical Practice Guidelines,” Pediatric Physical Therapy, 25(3):257-270. doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e31829491c5
  • Huang, H., Ellis, T.D., Wagenaar, R.C., & Fetters, L. (2013) “The Impact of Body-Scaled Information on Reaching.” Physical Therapy, 93:41-49.