Visual-motor integration functioning in a South African middle childhood sample

  • L Lotz Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
  • H Loxton Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa
  • AV Naidoo Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa

Abstract

Visual-motor integration functioning has been identified as playing an integral role in different aspects of a child's development. Sensory-motor development is not only foundational to the physical maturation process, but is also imperative for progress with formal learning activities. Deficits in visual-motor integration have been identified as precursors of later learning disabilities and other neurological conditions. The primary aim of this study was to determine the status of visual-motor integration functioning of a group of learners from a disadvantaged peri-urban South African community. Visual-motor integration functioning was assessed using the Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (VMI) and the Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (GHD). Three hundred and thirty-nine learners in grades 1–4 were assessed and results for the group relative to gender, chronological age and socioeconomic status are reported.
For the group, the mean test age fell 16 months below the mean chronological age on the VMI. The mean GHD score for the group was about a half a standard deviation below the GHD's test norm. At school entry level, visual-motor integration was more than one standard deviation below the mean. Compared to female learners, male learners achieved significantly higher scores on the test age score of the VMI (mean difference = 8.69 months), and the intelligence coefficient score of the GHD (mean difference = 4.68). Scores on both measures increased as a function of socioeconomic status. The VMI and GHD scores were significantly correlated (r = 0.45; P < 0.01) suggesting that visual-motor integration is integral to intellectual functioning.

Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2005, 17(2): 63–67
Published
2005-10-19
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1728-0591
print ISSN: 1728-0583