Magazine article USA TODAY

Basic Motor Skills Lackine; in Preschoolers

Magazine article USA TODAY

Basic Motor Skills Lackine; in Preschoolers

Article excerpt

Disadvantaged urban preschoolers not only are vulnerable to failure in the classroom--they are likely to struggle on playgrounds and athletic fields as well, suggests research from Ohio State University, Columbus, which found that more than eight out of every 10 disadvantaged preschoolers showed significant developmental delays in basic motor skills--such as running, jumping, throwing, and catching--meaning they are at risk of giving up on physical activities and becoming obese teenagers and adults, warns Jackie Goodway, lead author of the study and associate professor of physical activity and educational services.

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"These fundamental motor skills--running and catching and throwing and kicking--are the ABCs of movement. If children don't learn the ABCs, they can't read and, if they don't learn basic motor skills, they won't participate in sports or exercise. That's the problem we may be facing with the children in this study."

The children were evaluated using a standardized test of motor skills. They participated in tests of locomotor skills that included running, jumping, hopping, leaping, sliding, and galloping. They also were evaluated on object control skills through tests of throwing, catching, kicking, striking, dribbling, and rolling. Some 86% scored below the 30th percentile of children nationwide, which is considered developmentally delayed. …

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