The role of early fine and gross motor development on later motor and cognitive ability

School of Psychology, Curtin University of Technology, GPO Box U1987, Perth 6845, Western Australia, Australia.
Human Movement Science (Impact Factor: 2.03). 10/2008; 27(5):668-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.humov.2007.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine whether information obtained from measures of motor performance taken from birth to 4 years of age predicted motor and cognitive performance of children once they reached school age. Participants included 33 children aged from 6 years to 11 years and 6 months who had been assessed at ages 4 months to 4 years using the ages and stages questionnaires (ASQ: [Squires, J. K., Potter, L., & Bricker, D. (1995). The ages and stages questionnaire users guide. Baltimore: Brookes]). These scores were used to obtain trajectory information consisting of the age of asymptote, maximum or minimum score, and the variance of ASQ scores. At school age, both motor and cognitive ability were assessed using the McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND: [McCarron, L. (1997). McCarron assessment of neuromuscular development: Fine and gross motor abilities (revised ed.). Dallas, TX: Common Market Press.]), and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Version IV (WISC-IV: [Wechsler, D. (2004). WISC-IV integrated technical and interpretive manual. San Antonio, Texas: Harcourt Assessment]). In contrast to previous research, results demonstrated that, although socio-economic status (SES) predicted fine motor performance and three of four cognitive domains at school age, gestational age was not a significant predictor of later development. This may have been due to the low-risk nature of the sample. After controlling for SES, fine motor trajectory information did not account for a significant proportion of the variance in school aged fine motor performance or cognitive performance. The ASQ gross motor trajectory set of predictors accounted for a significant proportion of the variance for cognitive performance once SES was controlled for. Further analysis showed a significant predictive relationship for gross motor trajectory information and the subtests of working memory and processing speed. These results provide evidence for detecting children at risk of developmental delays or disorders with a parent report questionnaire prior to school age. The findings also add to recent investigations into the relationship between early motor development and later cognitive function, and support the need for ongoing research into a potential etiological relationship.

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    • "A direct relationship between early gross motor development in infancy and adult executive function was found, suggesting that individuals who increase neural circuits related to evolving motor functions more quickly may allow for more desirable complex circuits involved in higher cognitive processes. Our results support the perspectives from a number of studies regarding childhood development of motor and cognitive skills (Murray et al. 2006; Piek et al. 2008; Bobbio et al. 2009; Miquelote et al. 2012). Bobbio et al. (2009) have found that in six-yearolds , the risk of having a low cognitive ability was 28 times more likely when based on gross motor when compared to fine motor abilities. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research has shown links between motor proficiency and cognition in school-age children, however, few have explored earlier ages. We aimed to determine the association between motor proficiency and cognitive ability in four-year-olds. Motor and cognitive skills were examined in 32 (15 males, 17 females) four-year-olds (±5.59 months) using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2) (Fine Manual Control [FMC], Manual Coordination [MC], Body Coordination [BC], and Strength & Agility [SA]) and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) (Verbal, Nonverbal, and IQ). Correlation analysis revealed significance between BC and Verbal (.45) and IQ (.51), including MC and IQ (.55). Total Motor Proficiency displayed significance to Verbal (.49), Nonverbal (.40), and IQ (.58). Through regression analysis, MC predicted Verbal (32%) and IQ (31%), while Total Motor Proficiency predicted Verbal (24%), Nonverbal (16%), and IQ (34%). Motor proficiency appears to be associated with cognition, thus emphasizing the importance of early motor skill development.
    European Early Childhood Education Research Journal 06/2015; DOI:10.1080/1350293X.2014.991094 · 0.46 Impact Factor
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    • "They demonstrated that parent-reported scores on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), measuring gross motor skills during infancy, predicted later motor and cognitive performance. The same association was not found for fine motor skills (Piek et al. 2008). These results are consistent with the claims that early locomotor experiences are an essential agent for developmental change (Iverson 2010; Campos et al. 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Previous research has found that language and motor skills are closely interrelated developmental areas. This observation has led to questions about the specificity of these domains, and the nature of the associations. In this study, we investigated the longitudinal relationship between language and gross and fine motor performance from 3 to 5 years of age. Methods We tested the prediction across and within developmental domains using cross-lagged panel models. In addition, estimates of specificity for each domain were calculated. Analyses were performed using parental reports in a sample of 11 999 children from a prospective population study. Results Structural equation modelling revealed unique positive predictions from early language performance to later fine and gross motor skills. Neither gross nor fine early motor skills uniquely predicted later language performance. Both language and motor skills were stable from 3 to 5 years of age. Motor skills were more stable in boys than in girls. Boys had lower scores than girls on fine motor performance, but gender differences in cross-lagged associations between language and motor performance were non-significant. The variance specific to language performance decreased from 68% to 46% in relation to fine motor skills and from 61% to 46% in relation to gross motor skills from 3 to 5 years of age. Conclusion From 3 to 5 years of age the stability within each developmental area is high, and unique prediction from one domain to the other is weak. These results implicate stable and correlated developmental pathways at this age.
    08/2014; 2(34). DOI:10.1186/s40359-014-0034-3
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    • "children who experience difficulties in motor development often have a deficit in fine, but not gross motor skills (Visser 2003; Zwicker et al. 2012) or vice versa children with spina bifida are unable to stand but when seated are able to perform manual control tasks, implying that distinct and independent neural substrates may be responsible for each skill's development. this interpretation: (i) agrees with research that shows gross, but not fine motor skills in infancy are a significant predictor of cognitive performance at school age (Piek et al. 2008) and (ii) reports of both boys and girls showing isolated advantages on specific motor tasks (thomas and French 1985; Junaid and Fellowes 2006; smith et al. 2012). the independence of gross and fine motor skill development is further supported by evidence that their trajectories (from infancy to preschool) are best described by different mathematical models (Darrah et al. 2009). "
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