Effects of a gross motor skills intervention on visual-motor integration of neuro-typical 5- to 6-year-old children

De Villiers, Nicola Hofmeyr (2019-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Children develop in a multidimensional manner. This implies that many developmental aspects influence each other. However, without gross motor skills (GMS), children lack the foundation for the development and integration of more specific motor skills. A paucity of information is available on how to effectively develop visual-motor integration (VMI) using GMS, therefore the current study focused on the development of GMS and visual-motor integration VMI in neuro-typical children between the ages of 5 and 6 years old (N=107). The primary aim of the study was to determine whether a GMS intervention programme could improve the level of VMI in neuro-typical children in this specific age group. The participants for this study were selected from four schools of varying socio-economic backgrounds (Quintile 1, 2 and 5) in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. The participants were divided into an experimental and a control group. Both groups were tested pre- and post- intervention using the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2) and the Beery Test of Visual-Motor Integration (BTVMI). The experimental group participated in an eight-week intervention aimed at improving GMS and VMI by means of activities focusing on locomotion and object control skills. All activities required participants to be physically active and to engage their visual senses for tasks that required visual tracking or visually guided movements. The study used a 5% (p<0.05) level as a guideline for statistically significant results. Despite the range in socio-economic backgrounds of the participating schools, the GMS and VMI abilities between the boys and girls were the same. The experimental group showed a significant improvement in overall GMS (p<0.05), locomotor (p<0.05) and object control abilities (p<0.05), as well as overall VMI abilities (p<0.05), visual perceptual skills (p<0.05) and motor coordination (p<0.05). Specific skills, such as jumping, galloping, leaping, dribbling, striking and catching improved significantly between the pre- and post- evaluations in the experimental group. Time constraints imposed by school hours was a primary limiting factor, and to a lesser degree, the erratic nature of the participants. However, the findings of the study show that a GMS intervention is an effective method to improve children’s VMI in this age group. A recommendation is that future research considers involving parents and teachers during the intervention period, as well as involving children from a larger geographical area. The study suggests that VMI can be improved through a GMS intervention in children aged 5- to-6 years in a South African context.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kinders ontwikkel op ʼn multidimensionele wyse. Dit impliseer dat ʼn groot hoeveelheid ontwikkelingsaspekte mekaar beïnvloed. Dit is egter so dat sonder die ontwikkeling van groot motoriese-vaardighede (GMV) kinders die grondslag vir die ontwikkeling en integrasie van meer spesifieke motoriese-vaardighede sal ontbreek. ʼn Gebrek aan informasie is beskikbaar oor hoe om visuele-motoriese integrasie (VMI) effektief te ontwikkel deur GMV, dus het die huidige studie op die ontwikkeling van GMV en VMI van neuro-tipiese kinders tussen die ouderdomme van 5 en 6 jaar oud (N=107), gefokus. Die primêre doel van die studie was om vas te stel of ʼn GMV intervensie die vlak van VMI in kinders in hierdie spesifieke ouderdomsgroep kan verbeter. Die deelnemers aan hierdie studie is uit vier skole met verskillende sosio-ekonomiese agtergronde (Kwintiel 1, 2 en 5) in die Wes-Kaaplandse Provinsie, Suid Afrika, geselekteer. Die deelnemers is in ʼn eksperimentele en ʼn kontrole groep verdeel. Albei groepe is voor en na intervensie met behulp van die toets van groot motoriese vaardighede (TGMD-2) en die Beery toets van visuele-motoriese integrasie (BTVMI) geëvalueer. Die eksperimentele groep het aan ʼn intervensie van agt weke deelgeneem met die doel om GMV en VMI, deur middel van aktiwiteite wat op lokomotoriese- en objek beheer vaardighede fokus, te verbeter. Tydens alle aktiwiteite was die deelnemers fisies aktief waarin hul visuele sintuie betrek is vir take wat visuele navolging en visueel geleide bewegings vereis het. Die studie het ʼn 5% (p≤0.05) vlak as ʼn riglyn vir statisties beduidende resultate gebruik. Afgesien van die omvang in die sosio-ekonomiese agtergronde van die betrokke skole, toon die resultate dat die GMV en VMI vermoëns tussen die seuns en meisies dieselfde was. Die eksperimentele groep het beduidende verbeteringe in algehele GMV (p<0.05), lokomotoriese- (p<0.05) en objek beheer vaardighede (p<0.05), sowel as in algehele VMI vermoëns (p<0.05), visueel-perseptuele vaardighede (p<0.05) en motor-koördinasie (p<0.05) getoon. Die eksperimentele groep het aansienlik in spesifieke vaardighede soos spring, galop, dribbel, slaan en vang verbeterings tussen die voor- en na-evaluerings getoon. Die tyd beperkings wat deur die skoolure veroorsaak is, was die primêre beperking van hierdie studie en tot ʼn mindere mate was die wisselvallige aard van die deelnemers ʼn verdere beperking. Die bevindings van die studie toon egter dat ʼn GMV intervensie ʼn effektiewe metode is om kinders in die ouderdomsgroep se VMI te verbeter. Daar word aanbeveel dat toekomstige navorsing moet oorweeg om ouers en onderwysers gedurende die intervensie periode te betrek, asook om kinders uit ʼn groter geografiese gebied in te sluit. Die studie stel voor dat VMI verbeter kan word deur ʼn GMV intervensie by 5-6 jarige kinders in ‘n SuidAfrikaanse konteks.

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