Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy

Perceptions of Children's Motor Abilities by Children, Parents, and Teachers as Predictors of Children's Motor Skill Performance

Academic journal article New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy

Perceptions of Children's Motor Abilities by Children, Parents, and Teachers as Predictors of Children's Motor Skill Performance

Article excerpt


This study investigated the links between children's motor performance using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition (BOT-2), with the perceptions of children, parents, and teachers of children's motor skills. Fifty-five children (8-12 years of age) completed the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire (PSDQ) and the Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC). Parents completed the Developmental Profile III (DP-III) and the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ-P) while teachers completed the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ-T) and the Teacher's Rating Scale of Child's Actual Behavior (SPPC-T). Regression analysis found that the children, parents, and teachers subscale scores together represented 36.9% of the variance in the BOT-2 total motor composite score. Findings from this study support the top-down assessment approach in paediatric occupational therapy practice.

Key words

Assessment, psychomotor skills, self-report, students.


Lalor, A., & Brown, T. (2016). Perceptions of children's motor abilities by children, parents, and teachers as predictors of children's motor skill performance. New Zealand Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63 (2), 14-24.

Children acquire and refine their motor skills throughout their development. This enables them to participate in self-care, productivity, school, and play occupations, as well as assuming new roles and becoming independent within their daily living environments (Davis & Polatajko, 2006). Motor skills are the "qualitative expression of movement performance, or a specific class of goal-directed movement patterns" (Burton & Miller, 1998, p. 367) and are generally referred to as gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills enable large movements or actions like crawling, walking, running, climbing, swimming, throwing a ball, and riding a bicycle. Fine motor skills enable manipulations using one's hands such as grasping, pinching, holding, poking, hand writing, and cutting with scissors (Bee & Boyd, 2004; Sheridan, 1999). Occupational therapists work with children presenting with occupational performance problems related to poor motor skill performance. To provide evidence to support paediatric occupational therapists intervention, this study is designed to explore the relationships between actual motor performance and how it is perceived by children, parents, and teachers. Findings from study will assist clinicians in choosing appropriate assessment methods when working with children presenting with motor difficulties.

Literature Review

In addition to Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) which is specifically related to motor deficits, children with mental health (such as anxiety and depression), behavioural (such as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder [ADHD]), learning disabilities, and developmental disorders (such as autism) frequently present with motor difficulties (Emck, Bosscher, Beek, & Doreleijers, 2009). The clinical (diagnostic) prevalence of children presenting with some form of motor disorder is in the region of 15-20% (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2004; AIHW, 2006; AIHW, 2012). If the average primary school classroom size is considered, these figures are significant. For instance, within a typical classroom of 24 to 30 children, there could potentially be four to six children presenting with some type of motor difficulty which could impact on their activities and participation in school, home and community environments (Anaby et al., 2013).

The impact of motor deficits on children and their families can be significant. For example, children with motor difficulties may require more time, assistance, or resources to complete daily functional tasks and occupations in comparison to their peers without motor difficulties (Cermak, Gubbay, & Larkin, 2002). …

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