Associated movements as an indicator of motor functioning in children

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    Abstract

    [Tuncated abstract] Previous research has shown that associated movements (AMs) decrease with age in typically developing children. However, considerable variability has been found to exist between children of the same chronological age (Wolff et al., 1983; Largo et al., 2001) and the reasons for this variability are unclear. As AMs are considered to be a construct of motor behaviour it is possible that varying levels of motor ability may contribute to this variability. Only a few studies have investigated the relationship between motor ability and AM expression, and those have resulted in equivocal findings. Therefore, the aim of the first study in this research project was to investigate the relationship between motor ability and AMs using a large sample of normative children (N=165). Group 1 consisted of 19 boys and 33 girls in school year 1 with a mean age of 6 years and 4 months (SD = 4 months); Group 2 consisted of 28 boys and 29 girls in school year 3 with a mean age of 8 years and 3 months (SD = 3 months); and Group 3 consisted of 27 boys and 29 girls in school year 5 with a mean age of 9 years 11 months (SD = 5 months). Motor ability was established using the McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND) (McCarron, 1982). Associated movements were measured using tasks adapted from the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment (Largo et al., 2002), the Fog Test (Fog & Fog, 1963), and Licari et al. (2006). '...' The second study in this research project continued to explore the relationship between motor ability and AMs by investigating whether increased severity of AMs previously reported in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (Denckla & Rudel, 1978; Lazarus, 1994; Mostofsky et al., 2003) is reflective of symptoms associated with the disorder or movement difficulties co-occurring in some children with the disorder. Four groups of children participated in the study. Group 1 consisted of 13 children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) with a mean age of 7 years 3 months (SD = 9 months); Group 2 consisted of 13 children with ADHD with a mean age of 7 years 4 months (SD = 11 months); Group 3 consisted of 10 children with co-occurring DCD and ADHD with a mean age of 7 years 4 months (SD = 10 months); and, Group 4 was a normative sample 15 control children. The children undertook the same AM assessment protocol outlined for Study 1. The AM data was entered into the RUMM 2020 and person location estimates (Rasch AM scores) were created for each child based on the person location map from Study 1. A comparison of AM scores between the groups revealed that the DCD and DCD/ADHD groups showed significantly more (p
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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