Developmental Double Jeopardy: A Study of Clumsiness and Self-Esteem in Children with Learning Problems

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This study was undertaken to discern the impact of gross motor incoordination upon the self-esteem of children with school problems. Twenty-three 8− to 12-year-old boys were studied in a hospital clinic for learning disorders. The determination of motor problems was based on a pediatric neurodevelopmental examination as well as parent and teacher questionnaires. Two scales of self-esteem and human figure drawings were given to both groups. Significantly lower self-esteem was documented in the gross motor-delayed group. In addition, there was evidence that boys with poor coordination rated themselves lower in their same sex social relationships but did not view themselves as less physically attractive. There were indications that parents were not sensitive to some of the issues regarding self-esteem. Finally, youngsters with gross motor delays were found to be significantly less happy.

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