Interlimb coordination differentiates Brazilian children from two socioeconomic settings

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Abstract

Background:

The aim of the present study was to test the notion that Brazilian children entering private school have a motor function advantage over those entering their first year in public school.

Methods:

Four hundred and two children from the two cultural settings were examined for motor function in the first and 10th month of school (first grade). Participants were assessed based on age-level standards and by total score for all items for children 3 to 7 years of age.

Results:

The private school group outperformed their public setting peers on the first and second assessment; both groups improved over the school year. The most interesting outcome was the type of motor task that most clearly differentiated the groups: activities requiring gross motor (interlimb) coordination.

Conclusion:

Among the recommendations given, it is suggested that motor skill activities, especially those involving interlimb coordination, be included with any type of motor programming for young children.

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