Implications of age appropriate attainment of early motor skills on fine and gross motor skills in four and five year old children

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Objective: The aim of this study is to discover the possible implications of early gross motor skills such as rolling, crawling, creeping, and scooting on the later fine and gross motor development of four and five year olds. Methods: A description of the research study, a consent form, and a retrospective parent questionnaire regarding early milestones were distributed to the parents and/or guardians of all four and five year old children enrolled in the San Angelo Early Childhood Center. Twenty-seven participants were included in data collection. After forms were returned, the Peabody Developmental Motor Scales - 2 was then administered to assess each participant’s gross and fine motor skills. Results: No statistically significant differences were found when comparing early gross motor skill achievement – rolling stomach to back, rolling back to stomach, crawling, creeping, and scooting - and later PDMS-2 gross motor quotients. Similarly, no statistically significant differences were found comparing rolling stomach to back, rolling back to stomach, crawling, and scooting achievement and later fine motor quotients. However, when comparing the achievement of creeping and later fine gross motor quotients, a statistically significant difference was found between groups of early, average, and late attainment. Despite only one of our comparisons being statistically significant, there were multiple between groups comparisons displaying a negative correlation between early motor skill achievement and motor quotients. Discussion: The importance of achieving early milestones generally occurring before the age of one is debated among healthcare professionals and research worldwide. Although statistical analysis did not reveal significant differences between groups of early, average, and late attainment of early milestones such as rolling, crawling, creeping, and scooting compared to later motor skills, our study did demonstrate expected negative correlation between the variables for most skills.

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