The relationship between balance and fundamental motor skills in children five to nine years of age Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qv33s073n

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  • The ability to establish and maintain balance is claimed to be an important prerequisite of movement tasks. However, despite this general belief, there is limited empirical evidence to support the contribution of balance in motor skill performance. Furthermore, psychometric properties of using a computerized force platform to assess balance ability for children have not been well examined. Therefore, the purpose of this study was two fold. First, the psychometric properties of static and dynamic balance performance measures in children using the NeuroCom SMART Balance MasterⓇ System were examined. Second, the relationship between the ability to balance and fundamental motor skill performance of locomotor and object control skills in children was assessed. Psychometric properties were examined with a total of 57 children five to nine years old. Validity evidence was examined with correlations between balance performances and age on both static and dynamic balance and locomotor and object control skills. The results revealed a significant relationship between age and balance performance for static unilateral stance on the left foot (r -.40, p < .0 1), right foot (r = - .43, p < .01), and dynamic tandem walk's speed (r = .43, p < .01). There, however, was no significant relationship between age and balance performance for tandem walk's step width (r = -.23, p> .05) and end sway (r = .05, p> .05). Reliability was estimated with test-retest re1iability with twenty-nine children. The reliability coefficients of these balance measures revealed that children's unilateral stance on the left and right foot were ICC₍₂,₂₎ = .84 and ICC₍₂,₂₎ = .75 respectively. Also, the results indicated that the tandem walk's step width (ICC₍₂,₂₎ = .57) and end sway (ICC₍₂,₂₎ = .44) were low. The relationship between balance and fundamental motor skill performance was examined with 56 children. All children performed the static and dynamic test of balance, and both a qualitative and quantitative aspect of kicking and jumping skills were measured. Canonical correlations revealed a significant relationship between static balance ability and kicking (Rc = .48, p < .01) and jumping (Rc = .45, p < .05) performance. Dynamic balance was significantly related to kicking performance (Rc = .45, p < .05), however no relationship to jumping performance (Rc = .32, p> .05). These results suggest that balance performance and motor skill performance are moderately associated with each other in children five to nine years of age. The inconsistent relationship between dynamic balance and motor skill performance appears to be related to measurement issues associate with the dynamic balance assessment.
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