The effect of a psychomotor training program on the motor proficiency of preschool children in a multicultural environment
The purpose of this study was to examine: a) the effect of an interventional psychomotor training program on pre-school children’s motor proficiency (MP) in a multicultural environment, and b) the MP differences among the cultural groups. The sample consisted of 145 children 4-6 years old, attending public kindergartens in Komotini, Greece. Among them, 38 were Christian natives (n=38), 36 Christian emigrants (n=36), 38 Muslim natives (n=38) and 38 were Muslim emigrants (n=34). Children were initially assessed by the Bruininks – Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-Short Form (Bruininks, 1978) and then were further separated into the experimental (EG: n=71) and the control group (CG: n=74). The children of the EG, participated in a four month psychomotor program, which took place three times a week and the duration of each training unit was 30-45 minutes. The control group carried out pre-post measurements, without having any interventional program, but only the particular exercise program followed by the kindergarten. The MANOVA with repeated measures that was applied revealed that the children of the EG, had statistically significant improvements in contrast to the children of the CG. Bonferroni post hoc comparisons revealed that the benefits in the EG were different. Christians, either locals or emigrants, were found to have statistically significant improvements, in comparison to Muslims. This might be due to cultural and ethnic differences in the backgrounds of the two groups, but further research is needed in this the specific area.