Original Research-Special Collection: Reducing inequalities in and through literacy in the early years of schooling

Longitudinal influences of socio-economic status on visual-motor integration: The North-West Child Health, Integrated with Learning and Development study

Dané Coetzee, Anita E. Pienaar, Yolanda Van Wyk
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 9, No 1 | a645 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v9i1.645 | © 2019 Dané Coetzee, Anita E Pienaar, Yolanda Van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 March 2018 | Published: 05 September 2019

About the author(s)

Dané Coetzee, Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation (PhASRec), Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Anita E. Pienaar, Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation (PhASRec), Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Yolanda Van Wyk, Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation (PhASRec), Focus Area, Faculty of Health Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Visual motor integration plays an important role in academic skills of learners in the early school years and can have an impact on their overall academic performance.

Aim: This study aimed to determine the influence of socio-economic status (SES) on changes in visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor coordination over a period of three years.

Setting: Four school districts in the North West province of South Africa were used.

Methods: Five hundred and seventy-three learners (282 boys, 291 girls) were randomly selected (representing different SES schools) and evaluated at baseline during 2010 when they were in Grade 1 (6.9 years ±0.38) and again three years later in 2013 (9.9 years ±0.42) as part of a longitudinal research study. The Beery Visual-Motor Integration Test 4th edition was used to evaluate the visual-motor integration, visual perception and motor coordination skills at baseline and three years later.

Results: Baseline measurements were higher among high SES learners in all three skills. Although learners from high SES still outperformed the learners from low SES three years later, low SES learners showed statistically significant improvements over the three years in visual-motor integration (88.24 to 89.85, p=0.041) and visual perception (89.69 to 90.04, p≤0.001).

Conclusion: Age-related development and improvement of the visual-motor integration skills were reported over the three year period. However, more learners from the low SES still showed delays in these skills. Delays in the development of these skills could contribute to poorer academic and learning-related achievements.


Keywords

VMI-4; Visual-Motor Integration; Visual Perception; Motor Coordination; Longitudinal Development Changes; Socio-Economic Status

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