Assessment of visual-motor integration functioning in a selected South African middle childhood sample

Lotz, Leslie (2003-12)

On t.p.: Degree of Masters of Science (Counselling Psychology)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During middle childhood, cognitive, social, emotional and self-concept development is of importance, and prepares the child for the adaptation and challenges awaiting the child in adolescence. Visualmotor integration is described by various sources as playing an important role in the development of a child. Visual-motor integration is the child's ability to integrate visual perceptual skills with fine motor coordination. In order to assess visual-motor integration functioning, the Developmental Test of Visual- Motor Integration (VMJ) (Beery, 1989) is often applied. Considering visual-motor integration functioning as an integral part of the drawing task (Harris, 1963), the Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (GHD) may also convey important information ofa child's visual-motor integration functioning. The primary aim of the present study was to determine the status of visual-motor integration functioning of the selected group of middle childhood children within the South African context, in order to identify possible delays. Visual-motor integration functioning was determined by the children's performance on GHD and the VMI. Academic achievement results were also reviewed to determine the chosen sample's status in this regard. The obtained results were analyzed and summarized in order to obtain information leading to the fulfillment of the primary aim. The secondary aim of the present study flows parallel to the primary aim, and was motivated by the need to discover an effective, child-friendly measurement tool of visual-motor integration, applicable at a young age, as to gain accurate knowledge of a child's visual-motor integration functioning. The secondary aim consisted of exploring a) the correlations (if any) between the results of the Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (GHD) and the biographical variables of gender, chronological age and socioeconomic status, b) the correlations (if any) between the results of the Beery Developmental test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI) and the above-mentioned variables, c) the correlations (if any) between academic achievement and the above-mentioned variables and test results, and d) the correlations (if any) between the VMI and GHD results, in order to compare different tests of visual-motor integration. Three hundred and thirty nine participants attending grade one to four in a specific primary school, took part in this study. The study resulted in various conclusions regarding the status of visual-motor integration functioning, the most relevant being that the selected sample presents with functioning levels lower than that which is expected for children their age, in their achievement on both the VMI and the GHD, implying possible visual-motor integration functioning challenges. This finding implies the need to implement effective intervention programmes in order to address this seemingly evident delay. Conclusions regarding the vanous relationships between the test results and certain biographical variables include the following: It was found that the relationship between socioeconomic status and childhood development, as reflected by the correlation between socioeconomic status and the GHD, seems very important in the South African context. When considering gender differences, females achieved lower scores on both tests applied in the present study than males. Chronological age correlated significantly with scores on the VMI. It was further shown that visual-motor integration functioning could have a significant impact on academic achievement. The VMI and GHD results were compared, in order to compare different tests of visual-motor integration. High scores on the GHD related significantly to high scores on the VMI. Although the present study was unable to confirm the superiority of one test, various considerations were discussed leading to the identification of a child-friendly test of visual-motor integration. The present study highlights the importance of identifying and addressing developmental delays in general, and visualmotor integration functioning in specific, in order to ensure the development of middle childhood children to their complete potential in the South African context. It also underlines the need for effective, child-friendly assessment tools of visual-motor integration that will ensure the effective identification of developmental delays.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gedurende middelkinderjare is kognitiewe-, emosionele- en selfbeeldontwikkeling van belang, omdat dit die kind voorberei vir die verwagte aanpassings en uitdagings tydens adolessensie. Visueelmotoriese integrasie speel 'n sentrale rol in kinderontwikkeling. Visueel-motoriese integrasie word beskryf as die kind se vermoë om visueel-perseptuele vaardighede te integreer met fyn-motoriese koërdinasie, Die VMI (Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Beery (1989)) word gereeld as meetinstrument gebruik vir visueel-motoriese integrasie. Omdat visueel-motoriese integrasie 'n sentrale deel van 'n kind se tekenvaardighede is, is die GHD (Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test) ook toepaslik om informasie rakende 'n kind se visueel-motoriese integrasie funksionering te bepaal. Die primêre doel van die huidige studie was om die status van visueel-motoriese integrasie funksionering van 'n gekose groep kinders in die middelkinderjare binne die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, te bepaal. Hierdie doel is bereik deur die toepassing van die VMI en die GHD. Akademiese resultate is verder in ag geneem. Die analisering van die finale resultate en data het gelei tot belangrike afleidings rakende die status van die geselekteerde steekproef. Die sekondêre doel was gemotiveer deur die behoefte om 'n effektiewe, kindervriendelike meetinstrument van visueel-motoriese integrasie te identifiseer, wat toepaslik is op 'n jong ouderdom, en akkurate kennis rakende 'n kind se visueel-motoriese integrasie funksionering tot gevolg het. Om die sekondêre doel aan te spreek, is die volgende ondersoek: a) die korrelasies (indien enige) tussen die resultate van die GHD en sekere biografiese veranderlikes, naamlik geslag, chronologiese ouderdom en sosio-ekonomiese status; b) die korrelasies (indien enige) tussen die resultate van die VMI en die bogenoemde biografiese veranderlikes; c) die korrelasies (indien enige) tussen akademiese resultate en die bogenoemde veranderlikes en toets resultate; en d) die korrelasies (indien enige) tussen die GHD en die VMI resultate, ten einde verskillende toetse van visueel-motoriese integrasie te vergelyk. Die huidige studie dui op vele gevolgtrekkings rakende die status van visueel-motoriese integrasie funksionering in die geselekteerde steekproef; die mees relevante dat die steekproef funksioneer op 'n vlak wat laer is as dit wat verwag word vir kinders van hulouderdom. Hierdie gevolgtrekking is gebaseer op die resultate van beide die GHD en die VMI, en impliseer moontlike visueel-motoriese integrasie agterstande. Hierdie bevinding dui op 'n behoefte vir effektiewe intervensie programme wat hierdie oënskynlike agterstande sal aanspreek. Gevolgtrekkings rakende die vele verwantskappe tussen die toetsresultate en sekere biografiese veranderlikes, sluit die volgende in: kinderfunksionering, soos gereflekteer deur die resultate van die GHD, is beduidend verwant aan sosio-ekonomiese status. Hierdie verskynsel blyk belangrik te wees in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Met in agneming van geslagsverskille, het vroulike deelnemers beduidend swakker resultate in beide die GHD en die VMI as manlike deelnemers getoon. Chronologiese ouderdom het beduidend met VMI resultate gekorreleer. Laastens het dit ook gevolg dat visueel-motoriese integrasie, soos reflekteer deur die resultate van beide die VMI en die GHD, 'n beduidende verwantskap tot akademiese funksionering toon. 'n Vergelyking tussen die resultate van die VMI en die GHD het gelei tot die gevolgtrekking dat hierdie twee toetse beduidend positief verwant is. Hoë tellings op die GHD het verband gehou met hoë tellings op die VMI. Alhoewel die resultate van die huidige studie nie die superioriteit van die gebruik van die een toets bo die van die ander kon bevestig nie, is verskeie oorwegings verder bespreek wat in ag geneem behoort te word tydens die seleksie van 'n kindervriendelike meetinstrument van visueelmotoriese integrasie. Die huidige studie is van waarde in die beklemtoning van die belangrikheid om ontwikkelingsagterstande in die algemeen, en spesifiek in visueel-motoriese integrasie funksionering, spoedig te identifiseer en aan te spreek. Die uitvoering hiervan mag 'n bydra lewer tot die ontwikkeling van kinders se potensiaal in die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks. Die studie beklemtoon verder die belangrikheid van effektiewe, kindervriendelike meetinstrumente van visueel-motoriese integrasie, wat die identifisering van hierdie ontwikkelingsagterstande sal verseker.

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