Volume 1 – 2008, First Issue

The effects of a psychomotor training program on motor proficiency of Greek preschoolers


Psychomotor Training (PT) in preschoolers focuses mainly on handling problematic cases and their perceptualmotor development. The aim of the current research is the study of Psychomotor Training (PT) effectiveness on motor proficiency of preschool aged children in Greece. A PT approach, based on basic principles of Psychomotor Education, was applied on a group of preschoolers (n=233) aged 59.75±6.45 months, while a control group (n=212) of similar aged children followed the typical education programme of the public Kindergarten but not the PT programme. Motor proficiency in both groups was evaluated by the MOT (Motoriktest für vier-bis sechsjährige Kinder) 4-6 test battery (6 criterion measurements) at the beginning and in the end of the PT programme. The results indicated that there was a significant interaction between the PT programme and the group factor (F1,419=573.8, p<.001, η2=.991), while post-hoc comparisons revealed that both the experimental (p<.001) and the control group (p<.05) were significantly improved at the end of the training intervention. A significant interaction was noticed between the group and the age factor (F3,419=124.3, p<.001, η2=.586) while post-hoc comparisons revealed that motor proficiency improvement in the experimental group was significantly greater (p<.001) than that noticed in the control group independent of age. It was also found that four-yrs-old children demonstrated the most significant motor proficiency improvement after the implementation of PT compared to other three age groups in the experimental group. Conversely, there was no age effect in the control group concerning motor proficiency improvement. Finally, a significant interaction was found between measurements and age. Post-hoc comparisons revealed a significant improvement in all measurements of motor proficiency with the exception the the comparison between second and third and between forth and fifth. The results of the present study indicate the significance of PT programs in improving Motor Proficiency in preschoolers.

Prevalence of developmental coordination disorder among Greek children with learning disabilities


The purpose of the present study was a preliminary investigation of the prevalence of probable developmental movement difficulties among children with learning disabilities within Greek school environment. Participants were 107 students from eight elementary schools in North-Western Greece. Fifty four of the participants had been recently diagnosed as children with learning disabilities. Fifty three classmates of the same age and sex but with no learning disabilities formed the control group. The Movement Assessment Battery for Children (Henderson & Sugden, 1992), which was used for motor assessment, includes three motor domains: manual dexterity, ball skills and balance. According to the results, 35 children (64.8%) of the experimental group exhibited severe movement problems while the respective number for the control group was eight (15.1%). Further statistical analysis revealed significant differences between the two groups regarding all motor domains as well as the total motor score. Within its limitations, the current study seems to be in agreement with the concurrent relative bibliography which states that, quite frequently, children with learning disabilities face motor coordination disorders as well. Despite the preliminary nature of the present study, it seems that motor assessment should be an integral part of the more general procedures of the assessment of learning disabilities.

Relationship between actual and perceived motor competence in a group of adolescents with psychiatric disorders


This study examined the relationship between actual and perceived motor competence in adolescents with psychiatric disorders. The participants were 37 (18 male, 19 female) Flemish adolescents, M age=13 years and 10 months (SD=9 months) remaining in a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital. The actual motor competence was measured by the Body Coordination test for Children and the perceived motor competence was measured by means of the Physical Self-description No significant differences were found in actual motor competence between boys and girls, whereas significant differences were found in perceived motor competence, in favor of boys. A Kendall correlation indicated no significant relationship between actual and perceived motor competence either in boys or in girls with psychiatric disorders.

Questionnaires Measuring the Physical Self Children: A Review


Maintaining a good physical self esteem is a protective factor in children’s development, while negative scores of it indicate different kinds of problems (e.g. depression, eating disorders). In this review several properties of the questionnaires that measure the above notion and its components are discussed. The search of this kind of assessment tools for children’s physical self was limited to the last 15 years. From the literature 15 results were found to adhere to the criteria set in the first place, with 11 of them to measure the different aspects of physical self separately (mainly body image) and 4 of them to evaluate the concept more totally. The paper focuses on a short description and categorization of the tests detected and a narrowing to the instruments that approach physical self in a more integrative way.

Health-related Fitness Assessment in Greek Schoolchildren 12-16 Years Old


The present study evaluated the influence of age and sex on the level of health-related fitness components in secondary school students. The participants were 330 secondary schoolchildren (158 boys and 172 girls) 12-16 years old. For the evaluation of health-related fitness (aerobic capacity, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition), the Fitnessgram test battery was used. Results revealed significant differences for age and sex for the one mile run-walk test, for the curl up test and for VO2max. Also, there was significant main effect of age on body mass index and the trunk lift test. Moreover, there was a significant main effect of sex on back saver sit and reach test, while no significant differences were found between age and sex in the push-up test. The students succeed in achieving the criteria, which were in the “Healthy Fitness Zone”, as these indicated by the Fitnessgram test battery, in a percentage more than 97% for the curl up test, 88% for the trunk lift test, 78% for the back saver sit and reach test, 72% for the 90o push-up test . In contrary, the students were in the zone “Need Improvement” in a percentage of 39% for the one mile run-walk test, 20% for the VO2max and 25% for the Body Mass Index. A better understanding of the individual differences that exist in different ages and between boys and girls, could have strong implication for planning and teaching physical education in schools aiming to increase students’ fitness level.

Motor and Graphomotor performance of students aging from 5 to 10 years old


The purpose of the study was to examine: a) the graphomotor skills of students with high, average and low motor performance and b) the relationship between motor and graphomotor skills. The total sample consisted of 275 kindergarten and elementary school students in Athens, Greece (138 boys and 137 girls), who were examined in the BOTMP-SF and the five graphomotor items of BOTMP-LF. The ANOVA revealed significant differences among the three groups (F = 19.726, p < .001, η2 = .150) and the Least Significant Difference-LSD post hoc method revealed that the „high‟ group (Mz = 1.02, SDz = .82) scored significantly higher than the „average‟ group (Mz = .60, SDz = .87) which, in turn, scored significantly higher than the low motor performance group (Mz= -.70, SDz = 1.51). Finally, the graphomotor performance was significantly predicted, through stepwise multiple regression, from five gross motor skills (running speed and agility, standing on preferred leg-static balance, walking on balance beam-dynamic balance, tapping feet alternative while making circles with fingers and standing broad jump). Overall, physical educators and teachers may consider that the motor and graphomotor skills of their students constitute interrelated academic elements.

Child injuries in Greek Summer Camps


The purpose of this study was the description of injuries sustained by campers at summer camps, aged 7-15 years. A sample of 8 camps from the Creek camp population participated in this injury surveillance study. Doctors and camp directors completed reports detailing the number of events sustained and provided specific information about each event. During the period of the study, 726 injury reports completed. A total of 427 (58.8%) males and 299 (41.2%) females reported having an injury. The leading causes of injury in children’s were: falls, slips, crushed by object, hit/bitten and fall of stable extent. The parts of body most often affected were the knee, head, ankle and wrist/hand. The most frequent activities of injuries were sports, free play and walking in camp yard. Data collected via such systems can be used to calculate injury rates, to describe patterns of injury and to identify risk factors for camper – related injury. All this provide the data needed to develop prevention interventions to decrease the number of youth whose camp experiences are negatively affected by injury.

Effects of the characteristics of two different preschool-type setting on children’s gross motor development


Many young children spent a major part of their day in formal preschool type-setting. The purpose of this study was to determine if gross motor development of preschool children is affected by preschool-type setting (public vs private). The sample consisted of 300 preschool children of both sexes (136 boys and 164 girls) aged 4-6 years who were enrolled at the two different types of preschool centers of Northern Greece. Half of the children (n=150) attended private preschool centers which had plenty of open space for playing, gymnasia, courts and playgrounds and included daily exercise physical activity programs. The rest (n=150) participated in formal public preschool centers that had limited spaces for sports and free play and did not include any physical education lessons into their schedule. The gross motor development of the children was assessed using the locomotor scale of the Griffiths test No II (Griffiths, 1984). The analysis of variance showed that children who attended the private preschool typesetting displayed higher quotients and could execute at a younger age every item of the locomotor scale. The results of the present study suggest that gross motor development of preschool aged children is affected by the stimulation level of school environment.

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