The effect of an intervention programme on the motor development of street children in a shelter

  • L-L van Niekerk
  • A Pienaar
  • M Coetzee
Keywords: Homeless children/street children, Motor development, Physical growth, Perceptual development, Socio-economic status, Physical development, Scholastic achievement, Motor intervention programme


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an intervention programme on the motor development and neuromotor functioning of street children. Twenty four children living in a state-supported shelter participated in the study. Seventeen boys and seven girls between the ages of seven and 14 years were randomly selected and divided into an experimental (n=13) and a control group (n=11). The gross motor, fine motor and neuromotor components were tested with the following instruments: The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (BOTMP), the Sensory Input Screening Instrument and a section of the Quick Neurological Screening Test (QNSTII). A 10-week motor intervention programme was applied and the effect tested by means of pre- and post-testing. Statistica for Windows and the SAS System were utilised for the statistical analysis of the data. The results indicated that the intervention programme had a positive effect on the motor development. The fine motor and neuromotor components showed the biggest improvements. Vestibular and vision function were neuromotor components that increased significantly and might have contributed to the improvement in fine motor development.

Keywords: Homeless children/street children; Motor development; Physical growth; Perceptual development; Socio-economic status; Physical development; Scholastic achievement; Motor intervention programme.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 29 (1) 2007: pp. 159-176

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069