African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences

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Motor and physical development of five to six year-old children in a low socioeconomic community

Melanie J. Durand, Charl J. Roux, Cora Burnett


Motor development is of vital importance for total well-being. Therefore, emphasis should be placed on the development and learning of gross and fine motor skills in a stimulating environment during early childhood. Children from low socioeconomic background often face the risk of a delayed motor skill development. The aim of this study was to gather baseline information regarding motor proficiency skills of learners in a low socioeconomic environment. A situation analysis was conducted using a mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) approach concerning the motor development of 5-6 year-old children (n=88) drawn from five crèches in the Riverlea area of Johannesburg, South Africa. Results obtained from the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency Battery (BOT-2), indicated that the majority of the children were on par with international standards, yet 5% of the children scored below average. These findings may contribute to the current body of knowledge on the motor and physical development of children, and provide key guidelines for the improvement of current practices on early childhood development in low socioeconomic contexts.

Keywords: Early childhood development, motor development, disadvantaged communities, Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOT-2).

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