The relationship between object-control skills, visual-motor integration and gender of grade 1-learners : the NW-CHILD study
Du Plessis, Wilmarié
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Visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination contribute to successful academic, school and career life. Literature also indicates that delays in the skills in above mentioned abilities could lead to delays in the mastering of object control skills. Furthermore, due to the developing needs of South Africa, there is a range of socio-economic challenges, and the effects on the above mentioned skills seem to lack development. Due to the possible effect that visual skills can have on academic performance, it seems important to further investigate the effect it may have on sport skills as well. The aim of this study was firstly, to determine the effect of gender differences and school types associated with different socio-economic conditions on the visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination abilities of Grade 1 boys and girls in the North West Province of South Africa. Secondly, the study aimed to determine the relationship between visual-motor integration, visual perception, motor co-ordination and object control skills of Grade 1-learners in the North West Province of South Africa. For the purpose of the first objective 816 participants (419 boys and 397 girls) were evaluated and for the second objective, 806 participants (413 boys and 393 girls) were evaluated. The test instrument used to determine the level of the participants’ visual-motor skills was the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration – 4th ed. (VMI-4) which consisted of the visual- motor integration test and two subtests which included visual perception and motor co- ordination. The children’s object-control skills were tested with the Test of Gross Motor Development – 2 (TGMD-2) which is designed to test the gross motor functioning of children from 3 to 10 years old. The STATISTICA software package (StatSoft, 2013) was used to analyse data. Data was analysed by means of descriptive statistics as well as a variation analyses (ANOVA). ANOVA was used to determine the interaction effect between gender and/or socio-economic status and visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination. Independent t-testing was used to determine the effect of gender differences and socio-economic status in visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination. Effect sizes (d) were used to calculate practical significance of differences. Two-way frequency tables were used to compare the classifications of the different school quintiles (Quintile 1-3 = schools associated with low socio-economic status and Quintile 4-5 = schools associated with high socio-economic status) among the VMI-4-classes. The Pearson Chi-square was used to indicate the significance of the differences and the level of statistical significance was set at p≤0.05. Furthermore a Spearman rank order correlation was used to determine the correlations among visual-motor integration, visual perception, motor co-ordination, striking a stationary ball, stationary dribble, catch, kick, underhand rolling and overhand throw, and an object control total. The results revealed that gender had no significant effect on visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination within the respective school types associated with different socio-economic conditions. Although there were no significant differences between the boys and girls, statistically significant higher mean scores were found in school types associated with higher socio-economic status (Quintile 4 and 5) with regard to visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination. The object control skills total had small and medium correlations with visual- motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination. Visual perception had the highest correlation with the object control skills total. These results contribute to our understanding of the influence that visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor co-ordination have on sport skills and more specifically ball sport skills. This knowledge enables researchers to better address problems which present in early years with regard to visual skills, as well as the negative impact which low socio-economic circumstances have on these skills in order to improve academic and sport skills later.
- Health Sciences