Anthropometric and motor development profiles of street children living in a shelter

  • M van Niekerk
  • M Coetzee
  • A Monyeki
  • A Pienaar


The aim of the study was to determine the anthropometric and motor development profile of a selected group of street children in Potchefstroom, in the North West Province, South Africa. A sample of 28 street children living in a state-owned shelter (20 boys and eight girls) between the ages of 7 to 14 years participated in the study. The anthropometric measures included stature, body mass, body-mass index (BMI), and two skinfolds (subscapular and triceps) and were measured according to the protocol of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK). The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, the Sensory Input Screening Instrument and a section of the Quick Neurological Screening Test II were applied to determine the motor development profile of the street children. The results of the anthropometric measures showed that the street children are shorter, lighter and have a lower BMI and smaller skinfolds than the norm for children of the same age. Signs of malnutrition were also noted. The results showed deficits in all the three aspects of motor development that were tested. With regard to the gross motor development, deficits were found with regard to running speed and agility, bilateral coordination and strength. Fine motor deficits were found in upper limb speed and dexterity, response speed and visual motor control. The neuromotor development of street children also showed deficits, especially with regard to vision.

African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation & Dance Vol. 13 (2) 2007: pp. 127-134

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939